Wines is now regularly made in many different parts of the world, and some of the best wines you will ever drink will have their origins in places as far apart as California and Australia. All these regions across the world owe a little debt of gratitude to the French, as it was in that part of the world where the art of winemaking was born, and some might say perfected. Some of the greatest wines in the world are of French origin, and there are so many good ones that making a list of the best would be near impossible. After all, best of lists are all rather subjective. What we are going to do here is look at some of the best-known winemaking regions in France, just to get an idea of what they produce.
Alsace – If you are on the lookout for a particularly dry, fruity wine, you need to pick one from this region. Riesling is perhaps the most common wine from the Alsace region, which sits on the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains. Other types of wines that come from here are Sylvaner and Gewurztraminer.
Bordeaux – Perhaps one of the most famous regions in France, it is also one of the largest, spanning roughly 100 km in all directions, and playing host to several renowned appellations, such as Medoc and Saint Emilion. Only a few estates have the right to label their wines as “Grand Cru,” which are among the highest quality in the world, and there are several vineyards in this region that have been granted that right.
Burgundy – If you are after a red wine that is at the top of the list in terms of quality, you should probably look for something from the Burgundy region. Many of the winemakers that fall inside this region are based around specific little villages, with some falling into the Grand Cru category. The red wines from Burgundy are an excellent investment, as they can stay good for upwards of 20-30 years.
Champagne – There are many people who have believed that they are drinking Champagne, only to discover that it’s a sparkling wine that cannot bear that name because it is not from this region. There are a lot of big name wines from the Champagne region, with the likes of Krug, Bollinger, and Mumm sitting at the top. Popping open one of those bottles is a reason to celebrate in and of itself.
Provence – While many wine drinkers tend to fall into the red or white camp, there are some who are more than a little partial to a nice rose wine. If you fall into that group, and you want the best rose available, they you may want to keep your eye open for one with its origins in the Provence region.
This is, of course, merely a partial list of the regions and wines of France, as it would take volumes to talk about all of them and the characteristics that they deliver. This, though, should serve as a nice starting point.