Alsace wine region with its villages, vineyards and towns linig the foothills of the Vosges mountains, is on of the most picturesque wine regions of France. This unique wine region of northeast France, which produces some of the greatest white wines in the country, still prides itself on making handcrafted wines and steers clear of outside investment.
The wine region’s continental climate is exceptionally dry. Almost all Alsace wines are white wine and dry wines, whit exception of late harvest wines and some red wine produced from Pinot Noir.
The soil of this wine region is extremly varied, with the best vineyards classified as Grand Cru.
The hallowed ground wine region of Burgundy is home to the greatest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world. Sadly though, in recent years not all of the French wines made here have met the standards of their predecessor. Having said that, there are some smart up-and-coming young producers around and today Burgundy finds itself on a bit of a roll. Burgundy was one if the first French wines regions to be know for its wine outside its boundaries. Favoired by kings and queens, the much sought-after wines of Burgundy werw also a passion for Thomas Jefferson.
In terms of producing fine wines Bordeaux is the largest and most important wine region of France for the best French wine lovers. Throughout its long history Bordeaux wine region has had connections with England, and during a 300-year spell from 1152, was under English rule. Bordeaux wine region lies on the rivers Garonne and Dordogne, which join to become the Gironde, before flowing into the Atlantic. The climate, influenced by the sea and rivers, is mild, slightly humid and summers tend to be long and warm for this wine region.
The historic heart of Champagne wine region is Reims, about 93 milles (150 km) north-east of Paris. The geographical centre of the Champagne wine region is at Epernay, slightly south of Reims. Champagne is subdivided into four large areas: the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne, the Côte des Blancs, and finally the Côte de Bar in the department of Aube, between Bar-sur-Seine and Bar-sur-Aube.
Each of these wine regions has its own geographic indentity resulting from countless variations in position, sun-hours, contour, soil, and finaly area unique with its own character and potential. There are more than 300 different terroirs, here referred to as crus, each equally unique and the subject of countless village interpretations.
Côtes du Rhône (English: Slopes or Hills of the Rhône) is a wine-growing Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for the Rhône wine region of France, which may be used throughout the region, also in those areas which are covered by other AOCs. In a limited part of the wine region, the AOC Côtes du Rhône-Villages may be used, in some cases together with the name of the commune.
Côtes du Rhône are the basic AOC wines of the Rhône region, and exist as red, white and rosé wines, generally dominated by Grenache (reds and rosés) or Grenache blanc (whites). At the generic level, the official AOC Côtes du Rhône region stretches 200 km from Vienne in the north to Avignon in the south and from the foothills of the Massif Central in the west to the fore-slopes of the Vaucluse and Luberon mountains east of the town of Orange.
Languedoc-Roussillon is a large wine region that sweeps across southern France from the Spanish border to the Rhône estyary. Commonly known as the Midi, it produces almost one third of all French wines and is currently a hot bed of innovation and exciting winemaking.
Hillside locations are replacing the flatland vineyards which once produced an enormous amount of Vin Ordinaire. Emphasis is now being placed in lower yields, barrique ageing and more complex blending. Many Rhône varieties, such as Syrah and Grenache, are planted here to grow alongisde Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot ans Chardonnay.
In comparison of the rest of France, the Loire wine region has a cool climate. The area is capable of producing a wide range of wines, from light, dry, and crisp whites, to rosé, medium-bodied reds, and luscious dessert wines. It is also a wine region where extremely good sparking wines are made. It was not until the 1940s that the Loire’s wines began to gain a reputation outside their local markets but since then, the region’s white wines, in particular, have featured on many restaurant wine lists.
The French wine-growing region of Provence covers a large territory from Nice to Arles. It is no surprise therefore that Provençal wines vary so greatly in their colour, bouquet, and taste. The vineyards from this wine region are often widely scattered which makes working them more difficult. Most growers therefore belong to a co-operative to keep their costs down. The best wines generally come from smaller independent estates, which bottle their own wines in this wine region. The price of these wines is naturally dearer than those from co-operatives but the difference in quality justifies the extra cost.
Corsica wine region is situated on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Located 90 km west of Italy, 170 km southeast of France and 11 km north of the island of Sardinia, the island is a territorial collectivity of France, but many of the region's winemaking traditions and its grape varieties are Italian in origin. The region's viticultural history can be traced to the island's settlement by Phoceans traders in 570 BC in what is now the commune of Aléria. In the 18th century, the island came under the control of France.