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French wine is produced all throughout
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
, in quantities between 50 and 60 million
hectolitre The litre (British English spelling) or liter (American English spelling) (SI symbols L and l, other symbol used: ℓ) is a metric units, metric unit of volume. It is equal to 1 cubic decimetre (dm3), 1000 cubic centimetres (cm3) or 0.001 cub ...
s per year, or 7–8 billion bottles. France is one of the largest
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flow ...

wine
producers in the world, along with
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...
,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
, and
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...
wine-producing regions. French wine traces its history to the 6th century BC, with many of France's regions dating their wine-making history to
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman
times. The wines produced range from expensive wines sold internationally to modest wines usually only seen within France such as the
Margnat wines Margnat wines were everyday wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from Fermentation in winemaking, fermented grapes. Yeast in winemaking, Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide, releas ...
were during the post war period. Two concepts central to the better French wines are the notion of ''
terroir (, ; from ''terre'', "land") is a French term used to describe the environmental factors that affect a crop's phenotype In genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and livin ...

terroir
'', which links the style of the wines to the locations where the grapes are grown and the wine is made, and the ''
Appellation d'origine contrôlée The ''appellation d'origine contrôlée'' (AOC; ; "controlled designation of origin") is a French certification granted to certain French geographical indication A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corre ...
'' (AOC) system, replaced by the Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) system in 2012. Appellation rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover regions, villages or vineyards. France is the source of many grape varieties (such as
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
,
Chardonnay Chardonnay (, , ) is a green-skinned grape variety This list of grape varieties includes cultivated grape A grape is a fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) forme ...

Chardonnay
,
Pinot noir Pinot noir () is a red wine grape variety of the species ''Vitis vinifera''. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French language, French words for ''pine'' and ''black.' ...
,
Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France (wine), France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words ''sauvage'' ("wild") and ''blanc'' ("white") due to its early origins as an indige ...

Sauvignon blanc
,
Syrah Syrah (), also known as Shiraz, is a dark-skinned grape variety This list of grape varieties includes cultivated grape A grape is a fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant l ...

Syrah
) that are now planted throughout the world, as well as wine-making practices and styles of wine that have been adopted in other producing countries. Although some producers have benefited in recent years from rising prices and increased demand for some of the prestige wines from
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organizati ...
and
Bordeaux Bordeaux ( , ; Gascon language, Gascon oc, Bordèu ) is a port city on the river Garonne in the Gironde Departments of France, department in Southwestern France. The municipality (Communes of France, commune) of Bordeaux proper has a popula ...
, the French wine industry has seen a decline in domestic consumption and internationally, it has had to compete with many
New World wine New World wines are those wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deform ...
s.


History

French wine originated in the 6th century BC, with the colonization of Southern
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rat ...

Gaul
by
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
settlers.
Viticulture Viticulture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

Viticulture
soon flourished with the founding of the Greek colony of
Marseille Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European langua ...

Marseille
. Wine has been around for thousands of years in the countries on the Mediterranean but France has made it a part of their civilization and has considered wine-making as art for over two thousand years. The Gauls knew how to cultivate the vine and how to prune it. Pruning creates an important distinction in the difference between wild vines and wine-producing grapes. Before long, the wines produced in Gaul were popular all around the world.''Medieval France: an encyclopedia'', William Westcott Kibler, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, p. 964. The Roman Empire licensed regions in the south to produce wines.
St. Martin of Tours
St. Martin of Tours
(316–397) spread Christianity and planting
vineyard A vineyard ( ; also ) is a plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, su ...

vineyard
s. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
,
monks A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

monks
maintained vineyards and, more importantly, conserved wine-making knowledge and skills during that often turbulent period. Monasteries had the resources, security and inventiveness to produce a steady supply of wine for Mass and profit. The best vineyards were owned by the monasteries and their wine was considered to be superior. The nobility developed extensive vineyards but the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
led to the confiscation of many vineyards. The advance of the French wine industry stopped abruptly as first
Mildew Mildew is a form of fungus. It is distinguished from its closely related counterpart, Mold, mould, largely by its colour: moulds appear in shades of black, blue, red, and green, whereas mildew is white. It appears as a thin, superficial growth c ...
and then
Phylloxera Grape phylloxera is an insect pest of commercial grapevine ''Vitis'' (grapevines) is a genus of 79 accepted species of vining plants in the flowering plant family Vitaceae. The genus is made up of species predominantly from the Northern hem ...

Phylloxera
spread throughout the country and the rest of Europe, leaving vineyards desolate. Then came an economic downturn in Europe followed by two world wars and the French wine industry was depressed for decades. Competition threatened French brands such as Champagne and Bordeaux. This resulted in the establishment in 1935 of the ''
Appellation d'origine contrôlée The ''appellation d'origine contrôlée'' (AOC; ; "controlled designation of origin") is a French certification granted to certain French geographical indication A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corre ...
'' to protect French interests. Large investments, the economic revival after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and a new generation of ''
Vigneron A winemaker or vintner is a person engaged in winemaking. They are generally employed by winery, wineries or :Wine companies, wine companies, where their work includes: *Cooperating with viticulture, viticulturists *Monitoring the maturity of grape ...

Vigneron
s'' yielded results in the 1970s and the following decades, creating the modern French wine industry.


Quality levels and appellation system

In 1935, laws were passed to control the quality of French wine. The ''
Appellation d'origine contrôlée The ''appellation d'origine contrôlée'' (AOC; ; "controlled designation of origin") is a French certification granted to certain French geographical indication A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corre ...
'' system was established, which is governed by a powerful oversight board (''
Institut national des appellations d'origine An institute is an organisational body created for a certain purpose. They are often research organisations (research institute, research institutes) created to do research on specific topics. An institute can also be a professional body, or an ed ...
'', INAO). France has one of the oldest systems for
protected designation of origin The protected designation of origin (PDO) is a type of geographical indication of the European Union and the United Kingdom aimed at preserving the designations of origin of food-related products. The designation was created in 1992 and its mai ...
for wine in the world and strict laws concerning winemaking and production and many European systems are modelled after it. The word "
appellation An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country). The ...
" has been put to use by other countries, sometimes in a much looser meaning. As
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
wine laws have been modelled after those of the French, this trend is likely to continue with further EU expansion. French law divides wine into four categories, two falling under the European Union Table Wine category and two the ''
Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions 300px, "Bottled at Origin" printed on a Spanish QWpsr cork Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions (often abbreviated to QWpsr or simply "quality wines") is a quality indicator used within European Union wine regulations. The QWpsr category i ...
'' (QWPSR) designation. The categories and their shares of the total French production for the 2005 vintage, excluding wine destined for Cognac, Armagnac and other brandies, were Table wine: * ''
Vin de Table Table wine is a wine term The glossary of wine terms lists the definitions of many general terms used within the wine industry. For terms specific to viticulture Viticulture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to ...
'' (11.7%) – Carries with it only the producer and the designation that it is from France. * '' Vin de Pays'' (33.9%) – Carries with it a specific region within France (for example Vin de Pays d'Oc from
Languedoc-Roussillon Languedoc-Roussillon (; oc, Lengadòc-Rosselhon ; ca, Llenguadoc-Rosselló) is a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an ...

Languedoc-Roussillon
or Vin de Pays de Côtes de Gascogne from
Gascony Gascony (; french: Gascogne ; oc, Gasconha ; eu, Gaskoinia) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region ...
), and subject to less restrictive regulations than AOC wines. For instance, it allows producers to distinguish wines that are made using grape varieties or procedures other than those required by the AOC rules, without having to use the simple and commercially non-viable table wine classification. In order to maintain a distinction from Vin de Table, the producers have to submit the wine for analysis and tasting, and the wines have to be made from certain varieties or blends.INAO statistics of vineyard surfaces and production volumes for the 2005–2006 campaign
accessed 26 May 2008.
QWPSR: * '' Vin délimité de qualité supérieure'' (VDQS, 0.9%) – Less strict than AOC, usually used for smaller areas or as a "waiting room" for potential AOCs. This category was abolished at the end of 2011. * ''
Appellation d'origine contrôlée The ''appellation d'origine contrôlée'' (AOC; ; "controlled designation of origin") is a French certification granted to certain French geographical indication A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corre ...
'' (AOC, 53.4%) – Wine from a particular area with many other restrictions, including grape varieties and winemaking methods. The total French production for the 2005 vintage was 43.9 million hl (plus an additional 9.4 million hl destined for various brandies) of which 28.3% was white and 71.7% was red or rosé. The proportion of white wine is slightly higher for the higher categories, with 34.3% of the AOC wine being white. In years with less favourable vintage conditions than 2005, the proportion of AOC wine tends to be a little lower. The proportion of ''Vin de table'' has decreased considerably over the last decades, while the proportion of AOC has increased somewhat and ''Vin de Pays'' has increased considerably. In 2005 there were 472 wine AOCs in France.


Reforms

The wine classification system of France was revised in 2006, with a new system fully introduced by 2012. The new system consists of three categories rather than four, since there will be no category corresponding to VDQS from 2012. The new categories are: * '' Vin de France'', a table wine category basically replacing ''Vin de Table'', but allowing grape variety and vintage to be indicated on the label. * '' Indication géographique protégée'' (IGP), an intermediate category basically replacing ''Vin de Pays''. * '' Appellation d'origine protégée'' (AOP), the highest category basically replacing AOC wines. The largest changes will be in the Vin de France category, and to VDQS wines, which either need to qualify as AOP wines or be downgraded to an IGP category. For the former AOC wines, the move to AOP will only mean minor changes to the terminology of the label, while the actual names of the appellations themselves will remain unchanged. While no new wines have been marketed under the old designations from 2012, bottles already in the distribution chain will not be relabelled.


Wine styles, grape varieties and ''terroir''

All common styles of wine –
red Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength Image:dominant wavelength.png, frame, Dominant/complementary wavelength example on the CIE color ...

red
,
rosé A rosé (from French, ''rosé'' ) is a type of wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance ...
,
white White is the lightest color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the Unite ...

white
(dry, semi-sweet and
sweet Sweetness is a basic taste most commonly perceived Perception (from the Latin ''perceptio'', meaning gathering or receiving) is the organization, identification, and interpretation of Sense, sensory information in order to represent ...
), sparkling and
fortified A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, w ...
– are produced in France. In most of these styles, the French production ranges from cheap and simple versions to some of the world's most famous and expensive examples. An exception is French fortified wines, which tend to be relatively unknown outside France. In many respects, French wines have more of a regional than a national identity, as evidenced by different grape varieties, production methods and different classification systems in the various regions. Quality levels and prices vary enormously, and some wines are made for immediate consumption while other are meant for long-time cellaring. If there is one thing that most French wines have in common, it is that most styles have developed as wines meant to accompany food, be it a quick
baguette A baguette (; ) is a long, thin loaf of French bread that is commonly made from basic lean dough (the dough, though not the shape, is defined by French law). It is distinguishable by its length and crisp Bread#Crust, crust. A baguette has a d ...

baguette
, a simple
bistro A bistro or bistrot , is, in its original Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an ...
meal, or a full-fledged multi-course menu. Since the French tradition is to serve wine with food, wines have seldom been developed or styled as "bar wines" for drinking on their own, or to impress in tastings when young.


Grape varieties

Numerous
grape varieties This list of grape varieties includes cultivated grape A grape is a fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytolog ...
are cultivated in France, including both internationally well-known and obscure local varieties. In fact, most of the so-called " international varieties" are of French origin, or became known and spread because of their cultivation in France.Clarke, Oz & Spurrier, Steven ''Fine Wine Guide''. London, Websters International Publishers Ltd., 2001, p. 20. Since French appellation rules generally restrict wines from each region, district or appellation to a small number of allowed grape varieties, there are in principle no varieties that are commonly planted throughout all of France. Most varieties of grape are primarily associated with a certain region, such as Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux and Syrah in Rhône, although there are some varieties that are found in two or more regions, such as Chardonnay in Bourgogne (including Chablis) and Champagne, and Sauvignon blanc in Loire and Bordeaux. As an example of the rules, although climatic conditions would appear to be favorable, no Cabernet Sauvignon wines are produced in Rhône, Riesling wines in Loire, or Chardonnay wines in Bordeaux. (If such wines were produced, they would have to be declassified to Vin de Pays or French table wine. They would not be allowed to display any appellation name or even region of origin.) Traditionally, many French wines have been blended from several grape varieties.
Varietal A varietal wine is a wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformat ...
white wines have been, and are still, more common than varietal red wines. At the 2007 harvest, the most common grape varieties were the following:


Terroir

The concept of Terroir, which refers to the unique combination of natural factors associated with any particular
vineyard A vineyard ( ; also ) is a plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, su ...

vineyard
, is important to French ''vignerons''. It includes such factors as
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
, underlying rock, altitude,
slope In mathematics, the slope or gradient of a line Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * ''The Line'' (2017 film) * ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line'', ...

slope
of hill or terrain, orientation toward the sun, and
microclimate A microclimate (or micro-climate) is a local set of atmosphere of Earth, atmospheric conditions that differ from those in the surrounding areas, often with a slight difference but sometimes with a substantial one. The term may refer to areas as s ...
(typical rain, winds, humidity, temperature variations, etc.). Even in the same area, no two vineyards have exactly the same terroir, thus being the base of the ''
Appellation d'origine contrôlée The ''appellation d'origine contrôlée'' (AOC; ; "controlled designation of origin") is a French certification granted to certain French geographical indication A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corre ...
'' (AOC) system that has been a model for
appellation An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country). The ...
and wine laws across the globe. In other words: when the same grape variety is planted in different regions, it can produce wines that are significantly different from each other.André Dominé (ed) ''"Wein"'' pp. 88–89 Tandem Verlag GmbH, Königswinter 2004 . In France the concept of ''terroir'' manifests itself most extremely in the Burgundy region. The amount of influence and the scope that falls under the description of ''terroir'' has been a controversial topic in the wine industry.J. Robinson (ed) ''The Oxford Companion to Wine'' Third Edition, pp. 693–95 Oxford University Press 2006 .


Labelling practices

The amount of information included on French wine labels varies depending on which region the wine was made in, and what level of classification the wine carries. As a minimum, labels will usually state that classification, as well as the name of the producer, and, for wines above the Vin De Table level, will also include the geographical area where the wine was made. Sometimes that will simply be the wider region where the wine was made, but some labels, especially for higher quality wines, will also include details of the individual village or commune, and even the specific vineyard where the wine was sourced. With the exception of wines from the Alsace region, France had no tradition of labelling wines with details of the grape varieties used. Since New World wines made the names of individual grape varieties familiar to international consumers in the late 20th century, more French wineries started to use varietal labelling. In general, varietal labelling is most common for the Vin de Pays category, although some AOC wines now also display varietal names. For most AOC wines, if grape varieties are mentioned, they will be in small print on a back label. Labels will also indicate where the wine was bottled, which can be an indication as to the quality level of the wine, and whether it was bottled by a single producer, or more anonymously and in larger quantities: * "Mis en bouteille ..." ** "... au château, au domaine, à la propriété": these have a similar meaning, and indicate the wine was "estate bottled", on the same property on which it was grown or at a
cooperative A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российск ...
(within the boundary of the appellation) of which that property is a member. ** "... par ..." the wine was bottled by the concern whose name follows. This may be the producing vineyard or it may not. ** "... dans la région de production": the wine was not bottled at the vineyard but by a larger business at its warehouse; this warehouse was within the same winemaking region of France as the appellation, but not necessarily within the boundary of the appellation itself. If a chateau or domaine is named, it may well not exist as a real vineyard, and the wine may be an assemblage from the grapes or the wines of several producers. ** "... dans nos chais, dans nos caves": the wine was bottled by the business named on the label. * " Vigneron indépendant" is a special mark adopted by some independent wine-makers, to distinguish them from larger corporate winemaking operations and symbolize a return to the basics of the craft of wine-making. Bottles from these independent makers carry a special logo usually printed on the foil cap covering the cork. If varietal names are displayed, common EU rules apply: * If a single varietal name is used, the wine must be made from a minimum of 85% of this variety. * If two or more varietal names are used, only the displayed varieties are allowed. * If two or more varietal names are used, they must generally appear in descending order.


Wine regions of France

The recognized wine producing areas in France are regulated by the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine – INAO in acronym. Every appellation in France is defined by INAO, in regards to the individual regions particular wine "character". If a wine fails to meet the INAO's strict criteria it is declassified into a lower appellation or even into Vin de Pays or Vin de Table. With the number of appellations in France too numerous to mention here, they are easily defined into one of the main wine producing regions listed below:


Alsace

Alsace Alsace (, also ; Low Alemannic German Low Alemannic German (german: Niederalemannisch) is a branch of Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancie ...
is primarily a white-wine region, though some red, rosé, sparkling and sweet wines are also produced. It is situated in eastern France on the river
IllILL may refer to: * '' I Love Lucy'', a landmark American television sitcom * Illorsuit Heliport (location identifier: ILL), a heliport in Illorsuit, Greenland * Institut Laue–Langevin The Institut Laue–Langevin (ILL) is an internationally ...
and borders Germany, a country with which it shares many grape varieties as well as a long tradition of varietal labelling. Grapes grown in Alsace include
Riesling Riesling (, ; ) is a white grape variety This list of grape varieties includes cultivated grape A grape is a fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of bio ...

Riesling
, Gewurztraminer,
Pinot gris Pinot gris, pinot grigio (, ) or Grauburgunder is a white wine grape A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry (botany), berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus ''Vitis''. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes ...

Pinot gris
,
Pinot blanc Pinot blanc is a white wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deforma ...
,
Pinot noir Pinot noir () is a red wine grape variety of the species ''Vitis vinifera''. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French language, French words for ''pine'' and ''black.' ...
, and
Muscat Muscat ( ar, مَسْقَط, ) is the Capital (political), capital city and is the most populated city in Oman. It is the seat of the Muscat (governorate), Governorate of Muscat. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information ( ...


Beaujolais

Beaujolais Beaujolais ( , ) is a French ''Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée The ''appellation d'origine contrôlée'' (AOC; ; "controlled designation of origin") is a French certification granted to certain French geographical indication A geograph ...
is primarily a red-wine region generally made from the
Gamay Gamay is a purple-colored grape A grape is a fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who ...

Gamay
grape, though some white and sparkling rosé are also produced. It is situated in central East of France following the river below Burgundy and above
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, ...

Lyon
. There are 12 appellations in Beaujolais including Beaujolais AOC and Beaujolais-Villages AOC and 10 Crus: Brouilly, Regnié, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Saint-Amour, Chénas, Juliénas, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent. The Beaujolais region is also notorious for the
Beaujolais Nouveau Beaujolais nouveau ( , ) is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular ''vin de primeur'', Fermentation (wine), fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the thi ...
, a popular vin de primeur which is released annually on the third Thursday of November.


Bordeaux

Bordeaux Bordeaux ( , ; Gascon language, Gascon oc, Bordèu ) is a port city on the river Garonne in the Gironde Departments of France, department in Southwestern France. The municipality (Communes of France, commune) of Bordeaux proper has a popula ...
is a large region on the Atlantic coast, which has a long history of exporting its wines overseas. This is primarily a red wine region, famous for the wines , Château Latour, Château Mouton-Rothschild,
Château Margaux Château Margaux, archaically La Mothe de Margaux, is a wine estate of Bordeaux wine, and was one of four wines to achieve First Growth, ''Premier cru'' (first growth) status in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, Bordeaux Classifi ...

Château Margaux
and Château Haut-Brion from the
Médoc Image:GirondePays.png, Map of the Gironde estuary The Médoc (; oc, label=Gascon language, Gascon, Medòc ) is a region of France, well known as a wine growing region, located in the ''département in France, département'' of Gironde, on the le ...
sub-region; Château Cheval Blanc and Château Ausone in
Saint-Émilion Saint-Émilion (; Gascon: ''Sent Milion'') is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an in ...
; and
Château Pétrus Pétrus is a Bordeaux, France, Bordeaux wine, wine estate located in the Pomerol AOC, Pomerol Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, appellation near its eastern border to Saint-Émilion AOC, Saint-Émilion. A small estate of just , it produces a ...

Château Pétrus
and Château Le Pin in
Pomerol Pomerol (; oc, Pomairòus) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is ...

Pomerol
. The red wines produced are usually blended, from ,
Merlot Merlot is a dark blue–colored wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continua ...

Merlot
and sometimes . Bordeaux also makes dry and sweet white wines, including some of the world's most famous sweet wines from the Sauternes appellation, such as . The
Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the Exposition Universelle (1855), 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III of France, Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeau ...
resulted from the Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor
Napoleon III Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 18089 January 1873) was the first President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is t ...

Napoleon III
requested a classification system for France's best
Bordeaux wine Bordeaux wine ( oc, vin de Bordèu, french: vin de Bordeaux) is any wine produced in the Bordeaux wine regions, Bordeaux region of southwest France. Bordeaux is centered on the city of Bordeaux, on the Garonne, Garonne River. To the north of the ...
s that were to be on display for visitors from around the world. Brokers from the wine industry ranked the wines according to a château's reputation and trading price.


Brittany

Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
is not an official wine region anymore, but it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its
viticulture Viticulture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...
. Several small recreational vineyards were established in the last two decades e.g. in Rennes, Quimper, Morlaix, Le Quillo, Cléguérec, Sain Sulliac, Le Folgoët, etc.


Burgundy

Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organizati ...
or ''Bourgogne'' in eastern France is a region where red and white wines are equally important. Probably more terroir-conscious than any other region, Burgundy is divided into the largest number of appellations of any French region. The top wines from Burgundy's heartland in Côte d'Or command high prices. The Burgundy region is divided in four main parts: * The Cote de Nuits (from Marsannay-La-Cote down to Nuits-Saint-Georges) * The Cote de Beaune (from north of Beaune to Santenay) * The Cote Chalonnaise * The Maconnais There are two parts of Burgundy that are sometimes considered as separate regions: * Beaujolais in the south, close to the Rhône Valley region, where mostly red wines are made in a fruity style that is usually consumed young. "Beaujolais Nouveau" is the only wine that can be legally consumed in the year of its production (Third week end of November) * Chablis wine, Chablis, halfway between Côte d'Or and Paris, where white wines are produced on chalky soil giving a more crisp and steely style than the rest of Burgundy. There are two main grape varieties used in Burgundy – Chardonnay for white wines, and Pinot noir for red. White wines are also sometimes made from Aligoté, and other grape varieties will also be found occasionally. Gustave Henri Laly, a renowned wine producer from Burgundy, supplied the French General Assembly with his Montrachet produced at Mont Dardon around the turn of the 20th century.


Champagne

Champagne (wine region), Champagne, situated in northeastern France, close to Belgium and Luxembourg, is the coldest of France's major wine regions and home to its major sparkling wine. Champagne wines can be both white and rosé. A small amount of still wine is produced in Champagne using (as AOC Coteaux Champenois) of which some can be red wine.


Corsica

Corsica wine, Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean the wines of which are primarily consumed on the island itself. It has nine AOC regions and an island-wide vin de pays designation and is still developing its production methods as well as its regional style.J. Robinson (ed) ''"The Oxford Companion to Wine"'' Third Edition, pp. 203–04, Oxford University Press 2006 .


Île-de-France

Île-de-France is not an official wine region anymore. Yet it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its :fr:Vignoble d'Ile-de-France, viticulture. 5 villages of Ile de France (north-east of the Seine et Marne department) are part of the :fr:AOC Champagne, Champagne area and more than 200 small recreational vineyards were established in the last decades covering about 12 hectares altogether.


Jura

Jura wine, Jura, a small region in the mountains close to Switzerland where some unique wine styles, notably ''Vin Jaune'' and ''Vin de Paille'', are produced. The region covers six appellations and is related to Burgundy through its extensive use of the Burgundian grapes Chardonnay and Pinot noir, though other varieties are used. It also shares cool climate with Burgundy.J. Robinson (ed) ''"The Oxford Companion to Wine"'' Third Edition, p. 378, Oxford University Press 2006 .


Languedoc-Roussillon

Languedoc-Roussillon wine, Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest region in terms of vineyard surface and production, hence the region in which much of France's cheap bulk wines have been produced. So-called "wine lake", Languedoc-Roussillon is also the home of some innovative producers who combine traditional French wine like blanquette de Limoux, the world's oldest sparkling wine, and international styles while using lessons from the New World. Much Languedoc-Roussillon wine is sold as Vin de Pays d'Oc.


Loire

Loire Valley (wine), Loire valley is a primarily white-wine region that stretches over a long distance along the Loire River in central and western France, and where grape varieties and wine styles vary along the river. Four sub-regions are situated along the river: * Upper Loire is known for its
Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France (wine), France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words ''sauvage'' ("wild") and ''blanc'' ("white") due to its early origins as an indige ...

Sauvignon blanc
, producing wines such as Sancerre AOC, but also consisting of several VDQS areas; * Touraine produces cold climate-styled white wines (dry, sweet or sparkling) from Chenin blanc in Vouvray AOC and red wines from in Bourgueil AOC and Chinon AOC; * Anjou (wine), Anjou-Saumur is similar to the Tourain wines with respect to varieties, but the dry Savennières AOC and sweet Coteaux du Layon AOC are often more powerful than their upstream neighbours. Saumur AOC and Saumur-Champigny AOC provides reds; and * Pays Nantais is situated closest to the Atlantic, and Muscadet AOC produces white wines from the Melon de Bourgogne grape.


Normandy

Normandy is not an official wine region anymore. Yet it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its :fr:Vignoble de Normandie, viticulture. Several small recreational vineyards were established in the last two decades and at least one operates on a commercial scale in Grisy near Caen.


Picardy

Picardy is not an official wine region anymore. Yet it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its :fr:Vignoble de Picardie, viticulture. 40 villages of Picardy (south of the Aisne department) are now part of the :fr:Champagne de Picardie, Champagne area and several small recreational vineyards were established in the last two decades e.g. in Coucy le Château, Gerberoy, Gouvieux, Clairoix, etc.


Provence

Provence wine, Provence, in the south-east and close to the Mediterranean. It is perhaps the warmest wine region of France and produces mainly rosé and red wine. It covers eight major appellations led by the Provence flagship, Bandol.E. McCarthy & M. Ewing-Mulligan ''"French Wine for Dummies"'', pp. 224–28, Wiley Publishing 2001 . Some Provence wine can be compared with the Southern Rhône wines as they share both grapes and, to some degree, style and climate.K. MacNeil ''The Wine Bible'' pp. 306–11 Workman Publishing 2001 http://www.vins-rhone.com/pages/page.asp?lng=en&rub=2563, Rhône wine Provence also has a classification of its most prestigious estates, much like Bordeaux.T. Stevenson ''"The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia"'', pp. 243–47, Dorling Kindersley 2005 .


Rhône

Rhône wine, Rhône Valley, primarily a red-wine region in south-eastern France, along the Rhône River. The styles and varietal composition of northern and southern Rhône differ, but both parts compete with Bordeaux as traditional producers of red wines.


Savoy

Savoy wine, Savoy or ''Savoie'', primarily a white-wine region in the Alps close to Switzerland, where many grapes unique to this region are cultivated.


South West France

South West France (wine region), South West France or ''Sud-Ouest'', a somewhat heterogeneous collection of wine areas inland or south of Bordeaux. Some areas produce primarily red wines in a style reminiscent of red Bordeaux, while other produce dry or sweet white wines. Areas within ''Sud-Ouest'' include among other: * Bergerac, Dordogne, Bergerac and other areas of upstream Dordogne; * Areas of upstream Garonne, including Cahors (wine), Cahors; * Areas in
Gascony Gascony (; french: Gascogne ; oc, Gasconha ; eu, Gaskoinia) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region ...
, also home to the production of Armagnac (drink), Armagnac, Madiran AOC, Madiran, Côtes de Gascogne, Saint-Mont, Côtes de Saint-Mont, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh AOC, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Tursan; * Béarn, such as Jurançon AOC, Jurançon; and * Northern Basque Country, Basque Country areas, such as Irouléguy AOC, Irouléguy. There are also several smaller production areas situated outside these major regions. Many of those are VDQS wines, and some, particularly those in more northern locations, are remnants of production areas that were once larger.


Trends

France has traditionally been the largest consumer of its own wines. However, wine consumption has been dropping in France for 40 years. During the decade of the 1990s, per capita consumption dropped by nearly 20 percent. Therefore, French wine producers must rely increasingly on export, foreign markets. However, consumption has also been dropping in other potential markets such as Italy, Spain and Portugal. The result has been a continuing wine glut, often called the wine lake. This has led to the distillation of wine into industrial alcohol as well as a government program to pay farmers to pull up their grape vines through vine pull schemes. A large part of this glut is caused by the re-emergence of Languedoc wine. Immune from these problems has been the market for Champagne as well as the market for the expensive ranked or classified wines. However, these constitute only about five percent of French production. French regulations in 1979 created simple rules for the then-new category of Vin de pays. The
Languedoc-Roussillon Languedoc-Roussillon (; oc, Lengadòc-Rosselhon ; ca, Llenguadoc-Rosselló) is a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an ...

Languedoc-Roussillon
region has taken advantage of its ability to market varietal wines.


Organizations

L'Office national interprofessionnel des vins, abbreviated ONIVINS, is a Economy of France, French association of vintners.


See also

* List of Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée wines * List of VDQS wines *French wine regions list * Wine label * History of wine * List of Vins de Primeur * Old World wine * Geographical indications and traditional specialities in the European Union


References


External links


The official French wines home page
{{DEFAULTSORT:French Wine French wine, Wine by country