For centuries, French wine has been considered an elixir by wine lovers across the world and remains in the forefront of best wine destinations. Connoisseurs have time and again chosen French wine as their pre-eminent delicacy. The splendid countryside of France is filled with world-renowned vineyards, producing wines with distinctive flavors and tastes. Wine production has seeped through the collective conscience of its people cutting across every class, giving them a wide cultural recognition.
As an important piece of history, Gaul (part of present day France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy) was the center of grape cultivation. It saw Roman influence by 2nd century BCE, and later Greek immigrants came in 6th century BCE, spreading viticulture across the vast swathes of land in Gaul. It encouraged planting of vines in areas that are still recognized as the famous French wine regions. After the Renaissance, wine industry in France enjoyed the golden period of its prosperity, and its grand legacy continues to this day.
Best Vintage Vineyards of France for Wine Lovers
The French wine industry, influenced by varying factors, has become a symbolic torch bearer for the world, setting benchmarks for unique quality. The following regions of France are classic destinations for wine aficionados:
The Champagne region of France is situated in the northeast of Paris near the Belgian border. Visitors will enjoy its natural beauty with country wine at the Routes Du Champagne that runs through the lush Montagne de Reims, a microclimate suited for growing pinot noir grapes. The Champagne region is crisp and chilly, its average annual temperature just above the minimum to ripen fruit.
Bordeaux is arguably the world’s most famous wine region. Close proximity to the ocean and perfect temperature variations, which are crucial for ripening, create ideal climatic conditions for memorable wine. Vineyards are planted on slopes at an altitude high enough to be clear of frost. Bordeaux wines are typically a blend of merlot (for its velvety richness and depth) and cabernet sauvignon (for fruit and body). The wines produced from these vineyards reach millions of households around the world, and are even gifted as favors with customized wedding wine labels wrapped around them. The region has been a popular tourist destination throughout history, including world leaders such as Thomas Jefferson.
The Burgundy wine region is beloved with wine connoisseurs, with exquisite old world style wine from the region’s wide range of grapes grown throughout the region. It is filled with picturesque Medieval villages like Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and Noyers-sur-Serein with delightful architecture and half-timbered houses. Explore the wine routes through breathtaking vineyards and quaint towns in this warm, dry climate.
4. Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is also known as the wine garden of France, named for the Loire River, which flows through the valley making the region home to diverse vineyards and delicious wine. Clusters of small family wineries, Medieval villages and breathtaking castles make this the best wine destination in France. Don’t miss the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc producers Couly-Dutheil and Château Moncontour. The moderate climate of the region makes Loire wine light, airy, and fresh, with leisurely autumn days for the harvest.
Alsace’s exceptional climate conditions are created by the Vosges Mountains, rich soil and favorably dry weather. Alsacian wine is characterized by delicate floral and peach aromas, often using white grapes such as Riesling. There is a common saying among the winemakers of this region, “you can taste the essence of Alsace in each wine”. With thirteen terroirs, its offerings are diverse, fresh and perfectly suitable for every taste and occasion.
If you love delectable wine, picturesque vistas and historic vineyards, exploring the French wine regions should be on your “bucket list” of travel destinations. Don’t forget to bring a large wine suitcase with you!
James Look has hands on experience of the most remote areas of the world, ranging from the Easter islands, an Antarctic expedition and deep sea diving. He is also working with Icustomlabel. He has scaled 100 countries spread over six continents. His passion lies in traveling and sharing his experiences through blogs about traveling tips and safety hooks. He is a contributor on The General Post.