Table of contents:
- 1. Alsace
- 2. Bordeaux
- Other areas of southwest France
- 3. Burgundy
- 4. Beaujolais
- 5. Champagne
- 6. Loire Valley
- 7. Cognac
- 8. Yura
- 9. Côte du Rhone
- 10. Provence
- 11. Languedoc
2023 Author: Henry Conors | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 12:05
For hundreds of years, the country has enjoyed a reputation as a world leader in winemaking. Today, France, producing new wines for the world and European markets, also preserves centuries-old national traditions. French wine varieties have a long history in wine regions. Consider the most famous wine regions.
The wine culture of Alsace is imbued with a Germanic tradition, producing mainly dry and fruity white wines. The rules for naming and appellation are slightly different than in other French wine regions.
In Alsace, wines are produced under a simple name, after which the grape variety will be indicated on the label in large print. Smaller vineyards do not have names, although many Alsatian wines have the Chateau name on their labels.
Produces mainly regional white wines: Riesling, Sylvaner and very fruity Gewurztraminer.
One of the most famous brands of French wines. Bordeaux is the only one of the major wine-growing regions that has access to the sea, thanks to which winemakers were the first to start exporting wine from the regions of France. Products from the province of Bordeaux have gained wide popularity in the international market.
The vineyard is located around the port city of Bordeaux, along the mouth of the Gironde, Garonne and Dordogne rivers. While the AOP covers medium quality wines from across the region, many of the region's top quality clarets benefit from more specific names such as Medoc, Grave, Saint Emilion.
In Bordeaux, a special classification of wine was developed. France and the regions have not previously labeled their wines as cru. Only the best Bordeaux estates were allowed to sell wines labeled "grand cru". They are somewhat inferior to high-quality cru bourgeois.
Back in 1855, winemakers from the Medoc region classified their finest grand cru wines from premier cru to senquiem cru. These grand cru have a reputation for being the best of all French wines, and naturally their prices reflect that status.
Among the vineyards of the province of Bordeaux, the Medoc deserves special attention. The most prestigious wines of France are produced here. Very famous appeals of this area are Saint-Estephe, Margaux, Saint-Julien and Pauillac.
Other areas of southwest France
Inland and south of the Bordeaux region lies France's lesser-known southwestern wine region, fifth insize, many vineyards which produce good wines. The region is heterogeneous, actually consists of four districts. Each has its own characteristics and wines.
These are Bergerac, Cahors, Gaillac and other controlled appellation vineyards. The most famous red wines of the region.
Cahors produces the finest dark red wines in France, sometimes referred to as "purple wine". They are made from Malbec grapes. White wines are also produced in the region, including strong sweet aperitifs, which are specialized in the Montbazillac vineyard located on the slopes of the Pyrenees. There are surprisingly good white wines from the Jurançon and Béarn vineyards. Pesharman vineyards are known for their excellent red tart aperitifs with a thick aroma, Irulegi for their extraordinary floral aroma.
France's southwestern wines, the region's main varieties and appellations are represented by a wide range of products. These drinks are not inferior in taste to the wines of the province of Bordeaux.
Burgundy vineyards occupy a narrow strip of land on the eastern slopes of the hills southeast of Dijon, mostly red Pinot Noir and white Chardonnay. In the ancient city of Beaune, which can be called the heart of winemaking in Burgundy, an annual autumn wine fair is held, a celebration of winemakers.
In terms of the number of appellations, Burgundy is ahead of almost all French wine regions. It produces wines of four categories - from the lowest with the name Bourgogne to the grand cru, like clowuzho.
The best Burgundy wines are reds, some of which are aged 20 to 30 years. It also produces some high quality, though not overly refined, whites.
Unlike Bordeaux, Burgundy wines are produced in small, one might say, miniature volumes, but their range is huge.
South of Burgundy, bordering the vineyards of the Rhone Valley, a large area around Beaujolais produces a light red Beaujolais wine. Ironically, one of the most famous French wines has become an unremarkable young wine. The success of Beaujolais Nouveau has more to do with marketing than with the quality of the wine.
This is the northernmost of the major wine regions in France. Initially, winemakers produced still wines that were highly valued. But as competition with Burgundy escalated to the point of civil war, more and more Champagne winemakers focused on sparkling wine production.
Unlike most French wines, Champagne is not made from a single grape variety. For the production of vintage champagne, grape juice from one crop is mixed, for non-vintage champagne, juice from different years is blended.
Because the quality of champagne depends on the balance between the quality of the original grapes and the skill of the winemaker, it is ranked and promoted to the market by the manufacturer, not the owners of the vineyards.
Great taste and purity of real champagne due to chalky soil and continentalclimate of the region.
Champagne is not a general term for French sparkling wines. There are many good drinks in this category that are not sold under the brand name "champagne", because the same grape variety is grown a couple of kilometers outside the province of Champagne. These wines ("Crément du Bourgogne", "Crément du Jura", etc.) are produced using the same technology from similar grape varieties.
Only the most experienced sommeliers can tell the difference between an average champagne and a good sparkling one.
6. Loire Valley
One of the 14 most famous regions in France, the Loire wine region is famous for being the second largest producer of sparkling wines after Champagne.
They mainly produce white, pink or pale red, dry and semi-dry, which are excellent with seafood. Touraine is famous for its fine light red wines, especially those made from the Gamay grape. The region also produces vin gris, a gray wine that is actually a very pale pink color. This is a white wine made from… black grapes.
The region's most prestigious sparkling wines are Vouvray and Saumur.
Cognac, or the Charente region, is considered the main wine-growing region, although wine itself is not its main product. Most of the wine produced is used to make cognac and other spirits. In addition to the well-known French cognacs, white and red aperitif Pinot de Charente andunpretentious table white wines under the brand Vin de Pays.
Produces the most unique white wines from Savagnin grapes. On the territory of France, the variety is found only in this region and is its hallmark. The wine has a characteristic aftertaste of sherry. As in Alsace, the grape variety is indicated on the label.
The Jura also produces deep pink, sometimes called red, blended wines. But the fame of the region was brought by the famous "yellow", expensive aperitif wines, the bouquet reminiscent of Amontillado sherry, made exclusively from the Savagnin variety, and the "straw" sweet wine of the same grape.
9. Côte du Rhone
Côtes du Rhone is one of those French wines that has become famous more as a result of the volume of production than the quality of the wine. This is the second largest wine region after Bordeaux.
Cote du Rhone wines are simple table white, red or rosé blended wines reminiscent of Mediterranean wine brands in taste and bouquet. The most popular are Viognier, Syrah and Grenache.
This is a large wine-producing area, famous for its Côte de Provence and Côte d'Aix en Provence rosés. Winemakers in Provence also produce red wines, including some great ones, and gray wines.
The area's most famous drink is bandol.
Overview of the main varieties of winesFrance, regions and appellations are completed by Languedoc, located in the coastal zone of the Mediterranean, to the west of the Rhone. A lot of fairly ordinary red wine is produced here, most of it is sold as vin du pays, that is, table wine. It is one of the largest French wine-producing provinces in terms of production.
AOP controlled appellation wines account for about 10% of the region's production.
The grapes ripen well and quickly in the region, Languedoc wines are rich and full-bodied, but not distinguished by their exquisite taste. Many fortified wines are produced here, but they are not as famous and good as the wines of Roussillon.
Among the dry and semi-dry wines produced in the region, Coteaux du Languedoc has a tart, astringent taste, high tannin content and very low aroma.
Almost all wines produced in the region are blended, sometimes up to three grape varieties are used for their production. In the production of red wines, the method of carbonic maceration is widely used.
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