French wine regions: everything you need to know!

Fashion, haute cuisine, perfume…and, of course, wine! The French excel at most things and wine is no exception. But if you feel the French wine regions are enough to make you say zut alors!..don’t worry! Here’s a brief guide – it’s as easy as ABC, or should we say AOC?

Alsace French Wine Region

Alsace, AOC

The French wine regions’ locations play a big part in helping you understand the kind of wine you are choosing and its quality, hence the AOC certification system (appellation d'origine contrôlée). This is awarded based on terroir (land) and a set of environmental factors (soil, climate, weather), which affect the crops and, as a result, the wine’s flavour. Therefore, a wine’s origins are extremely important. For example, Alsace’s central European climate and ancient soils are perfect for creating both dry and sweet wines and it is famous for its Rieslings.

bordeaux wine region

Bordeaux, Burgundy wine regions

Bordeaux has been exporting wines for years and is renowned for Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots. With 120,000 hectares of vineyards, this is the place to visit if you love red wine. Although primarily a red wine region, Bordeaux produces fine dry and sweet whites like Sauternes. With its unique soil and climate, Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes, Burgundy produces wonderful whites and complex reds and has the most AOC wines of any region.

Champagne wine region

Champagne, Côtes du Rhône French wine regions

The most northern French wine region is Champagne, renowned for sparkling wine with three main growing areas and three main grape varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. Its climate is in stark contrast to the Provence rosé region, which has produced wines for over 2,600 years and Côtes du Rhône, known for its Grenaches.

There are so many more regions to explore... but bravo! You are one step closer to being a wine connoisseur!