France

Burgund

The Burgundy (French Bourgogne) wine-growing region lies as a narrow, elongated strip between Lyon and Dijon. Burgundy is one of the oldest and most sought-after growing areas in France and the rest of the world. Many of the world's most expensive and sought-after wines come from here. The best-known grape varieties are Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay in the white wine sector, and Pinot Noir in the red wine sector, all of which are mostly pure varieties and not, as in Bordeaux, as cuvée on the market. The area under cultivation in Burgundy is about 40,000 hectares. Burgundy is divided into six individual regions: Chablis and Grand Auxerrois, Côtes de Nuits and Hautes Côtes de Nuit, Côtes de Beaune and Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Couchois, Mâconnais and Châtillonnais. The Côtes de Nuits and Côtes de Beaune plots are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Famous appellations include: Bâtard-Montrachet, Chablis Grand Cru, Chambertin, Chassagne-Montrachet, Clos de Vougeot, Echezeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin, Meursault, Montrachet, Pommard, Richebourg, Romanée-Conti, Vosne-Romanée, La Tâche, etc. The Beaujolais with the main red grape variety Gamay can be distinguished geographically, but also stylistically and vine variety-wise.

In Burgundy there is a four-level classification:

  • regionale Appellation „AOC Régionales“ (Basis- oder Gutswine)
  • kommunale Appellation „AOC Village“ (Ortswine)
  • Premier Cru (First layer)
  • Grand Cru (Great layer)

This site classification is a model for many wine-growing regions all over the world and is also to be found in Germany. ( e.g. Classification of the VDP (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter).

Famous French wineries are here:

Bordeaux

The Bordeaux growing area is located near the western Atlantic coast of France in the immediate vicinity of the city of Bordeaux of the same name. Some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world thrive here. From the sea through Bordeaux flows the river Gironde, which then divides into the two rivers Dordogne and Gironne in the middle of the wine-growing region. For this reason, the Bordeaux wine villages are also divided into "left bank" and "right bank". The appellations Medoc, Haut-Medoc, Pauillac, Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, Margaux and Graves belong to the left bank. The wineries from the first Bordeaux classification of 1855 can also be found there. Characteristic for the left bank is the high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. On the right bank are the appellations Pomerol, St. Emilion, Blaye and Bourg. A special feature of the right bank is the high Merlot share.
The common grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot for red wines and Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Sémillon and Muscadelle for white wines. In Bordeaux, with a few exceptions, mainly cuvées are produced. The appellations Sauternes and Barsac are a speciality, where some of the best sweet wines in the world are produced. Bordeaux has a vineyard area of about 120,000 hectares.

Famous French wineries are here::

Champagne

Champagne is one of the most traditional wine-growing regions and is known for sparkling wines of the highest quality. Only sparkling wines which have grown in the Champagne region and have undergone a so-called bottle fermentation are allowed to call themselves Champagnes. In the Champagne there are about 34,000 hectares of vineyards, which are divided into the Départments Aisne, Marne, Haut-Marne, Seine-et-Marne. Well-known cities are Reims, Troyes or Épernay. Seven grape varieties are permitted here, the most common being Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The other four grape varieties are Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, Arbane and Fromenteau, but these only play a minor role.

Top producers are, for example:

Languedoc

The Languedoc wine region is located in the south of France on the Mediterranean coast and is divided into the departments of Aude, Gard and Hérault. The Languedoc has long been regarded as the home of simple wines, but in the last 30 years or so it has also produced top quality wines. With a total vineyard area of over 290,000 hectares, Languedoc is the largest wine-growing region in France and one of the largest in the world. Famous appellations include Coteaux du Languedoc, Corbières, Faugères, Saint-Chinian, Fitou and Minervois. The common red grape varieties are Syrah, Grenache Noir, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault. The white grape varieties are dominated by Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne and Marsanne. The main towns in Languedoc are Carcassonne, Perpignan, Montpellier and Nîmes.

Top companies in Languedoc are e.g:

Elsass

The Alsace wine region (Alsace in French) lies in the east of France and stretches as a strip from Marlenheim south down to Thann. Here, vineyards grow on a total of 14,500 hectares.
The most popular grape varieties here are Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Muscat as white wine and Pinot Noir as red wine. Most of the wines are vinified with the same variety and this is also where remarkable sparkling wines are produced (Crémant d´Alsace). Particularly good sites are awarded with "Grand Cru", of which there are currently about 50 in Alsace. Famous wine-growing places are Marlenheim, Molsheim, Oberehnheim; Barr, Ribeauvillé, Guebwiller, and Thann. Well-known examples of Grand Cru´s in Alsace are Altenberg de Bergheim, Altenberg de Wolxheim, Praelatenberg, Steinkotz, Schlossberg, Mandelklotz, Kanzlerberg and Geisberg.

Top producers in Alsace are for example:

Rhône

The Rhône growing area stretches from Vienne along the Rhône river of the same name for about 200 km to Avignon and has a total planted vineyard area of around 61,000 hectares. The best appellations on the Rhône include Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas and Rasteau, Côtes du Rhone, Côtes du Ventoux, Saint Joseph, Côte Rotie, Hermitage and Crôzes Hermitage. The most cultivated grape varieties are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault for the red wines and Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. The grape variety profile is therefore similar to that of the Languedoc.

Spitzenerzeuger sind an der Rhône z.B.:

Loiretal

The wine-growing area Loiretal is a very extensive wine-growing area and extends over approx. 1000 km from the city of Roanne at the river Loire of the same name and several tributaries along up to Saint-Nazaire at the western Atlantic coast of France and has a total vineyard area of about 70,000 hectares. The Loire Valley is particularly famous for its excellent white wines. About 60% white wine and 40% red wine are cultivated here. The most important white grape varieties are Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne, as well as the most important red Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Malbec. The Loire Valley is divided into four sub-regions: Anjou-Saumur region, Pays Nantais region, Touraine region, Cœur-de-France region. Famous appellations are Saumur, Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé or Pouilly-sur-Loire.

Well-known producers are, for instance:

Jura

The Jura wine region lies in eastern France between Burgundy and Switzerland. With a total vineyard area of around 1,900 hectares, the Jura is one of France's small wine-growing areas. The main appellations are Arbois, Château-Chalon, Côtes-du-Jura and L'Etoile. Specialities of the Jura are Vin Jaune, Vin de Paille and the Crémant du Jura. Another speciality is the high proportion of autochthonous grape varieties such as Poulsard, Trousseau, Savagnin and Béclan. In the Jura many wines, from the cultivation techniques to the ageing techniques, are produced as they were over 100 years ago and sometimes matured for a long time before they reach the market.

Top producers are for example:

Provence

The Provence wine-growing region is located in the south-east of France and has a total vineyard area of about 27,000 hectares. A special feature of Provence is the very high proportion of rosé wines, which is about 80%. Provence is divided into eight sub-regions: Cassis, Bandol, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux de Pierrevert, Coteaux des Baux-en-Provence, Coteau Varois, Côtes de Provence and Palette. The most planted grape varieties, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault, are exclusively red varieties, as very little white wine is grown here.

Top producers are about:

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