French Wine Regions for Wine Lovers & Wine Tourists

 Some of the world’s finest wines are produced from grapes grown and pressed in France. This country possess six distinctive regions, each of which gives rise to distinctive vintages, due to diverse growing conditions, climate, and soil composition. If you’re planning your dream trip to visit the delightful and rich French countryside on a tour of these regions, this article will provide some basic information about each, as well as activities and beauty spots that should not be missed.

English: Bordeaux, place de la bourse with tra...
English: Bordeaux,  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This region is an excellent source for easy-to-drink red wines. Over 85 percent of all the vintages produced in Bordeaux are red—Cabernet Sauvingnon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The area can be divided into two sub-regions of the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The former has soil with a higher gravel content and favors the growth of grapes used for wines that require longer aging periods to reach their full potential. The Right Bank has soils that are higher in clay content and more suitable to merlot grapes. One notable product of this region is Sauternes, a wonderfully sweet white desert wine.


This regions many vineyards are distinctive from others in France for the fact that they name their wines by grape variety rather than the place in which the grapes are grown. Here, Alsace varietals of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris are especially prized for their distinctive bouquets. As well, the Alsace Gewurztraminer offers a delightfully low-acidity, spicy bouquet with a higher alcohol content.

Wine country
Wine country (Photo credit: brettwayn)


If rosé is what you crave, be sure to spend some time in the enchanting countryside of Provence. This regions sultry climate and sandy soils produce excellent grapes that are crafted into vintages such as Chateau Pradieux and Chateau Roquefort. Known for their clear, sweet bouquets and smooth-bodied drinkability, these wines pair well with the regional cuisine of this southwestern French territory, from seaside to mountainside.

The Loire Valley

This rich and scenic region boasts some of the finest white wines of France. Sancerre, Vouvray, Poully-Fume, and Muscadet. Stretching along Frances northwest Atlantic border, this wine-growing area follows the course of the Loire River and boasts light, crisply bodied white or sparkling wines. Because of the cooler climate, many of the wines that originate here are lighter than those found elsewhere in France.

Harvest time in the Chablis Premier Cru vineya...
Chablis Premier Cru vineyard of Fourchaume. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A region of just over 100 miles in total, this region is famous for its Pinot Noirs, Beaujolais, and Chardonnays. Vineyards in this area produce wines with a consistent fruity elegance, the Pinot Noirs usually running at a higher price due to their rare bouquets. However, the Chardonnays produced here run the full price range beginning at around eight dollars a bottle, with consistent crisp notes of honey and floral tones.

The Rhone Valley

The sultry, dry southeastern French region of the Rhone produces fantastic, easy-to-drink red wines. Grenache, Syrah, and Viognier are the three types of wines for which the region is most celebrated. In the northern reaches of the Rhone you’ll find two of the most famous Syrah wines, Hermitage and Cote Rotie. However, visitors to this picturesque area will find plenty of delicious wines that pair well with the distinctive and rich cuisine.

For anyone visiting France, especially a wine enthusiast, a number of winery tours are available by region. Depending on your destination and preferences, you can craft your tasting experience to include a walk in the distinctive vineyards. Of course, no experience would be complete without pairing distinctive wines from each region with the foods for which each territory is famous. These tours are often all-inclusive, with transportation and a survey of terminology included in the bargain. Whichever tour experience you choose, you’re sure to have the experience of a lifetime, make new friends, and enjoy different vintages that will soon become old favorites.