There’s a lot of competition out there, but France arguably still wins in terms of overall regional wine quality.
Where is it?
Key French wine-producing regions. (In alphabetical order.)
What are the main grapes grown?
With the exception of the South of France, each region has its own distinct group of grapes.
What is distinctive about it?
France is the benchmark against which many wines in the world are judged; and French grapes are by far the most planted in New World wine producing countries. It is second (to Italy) in terms of quantities of wine produced, but arguably first in the world in terms of overall quality. Varied topographies and diverse climatic conditions allow for the making of wine in virtually every style.
How do you spot a good wine?
France was the first country to introduce a classification system designed to control regional identity and quality – the AOC system. However, there are anomalies here. For example, Bordeaux is divided into dozens of different AOC zones, but the Champagne region consists of just one.
What are its classic dishes?
French cuisine needs little introduction and runs from the simplicity of world-class oysters to complex sauces involving red wine reductions and the liberal use of butter. Add to this the broad range of pâtés and cheeses – and there’s something to match every wine, perfectly.
Imagine yourself there...
Head for the park and re-create that perfect summer vacation with a bottle of Vin de Provence Rosé, a Salade Niçoise, and a Victor Hugo novel.