Discover and taste the French wines
French wines are a great part of French culture.
They have been developed in 17 different areas by more than 16,000 wine producers.
French wine-making has its own unique history with each wine having its own brand name.
Wine production is highly competitive and French producers must cope with many competitors from around the world including Australia, USA, Chile and South Africa.
One major difference between all French wines and the 'modern' wines is that they don’t have a brand name like wines from France.
If you drink a modern wine, you will probably find the name of the Grape variety like Cabernet Chiraz, for example, but not a brand name.
Many of them are easy drinking and cheap, but you can't beat the taste of a real French wine.
Most of modern wine has been made and come from one of the French grape varieties.
Discover our French Wines Guide !!
By Albin VIDAL
The White French Grape variety
This white grape variety is well known for fresh and exciting white wines from la Loire.
However, it is also combined with others to create white wines in the areas of Bordeaux and the southwest.
It develops generally aromas of flint, musk or still valerian.
Very well known in France and abroad, The Chardonnay grape variety gives wines complex flavour aromas and a certain finesse. This grape variety is used generally in la Loire, le Jura et la Savoie areas.
You will find the Riesling grape variety in the Alsace region, where the wine has a reputation for its aromatic and lively flavours of cinnamon, the locust tree and the citronella.
This wine is an excellent table wine - a particularly good accompaniment for seafood.
Grow in the East of France and in Alsace, this grape variety is very aromatic and gives dry wines according to the mode of wine making, and shows without any restraint of the aromas of Litchi, violet, rose or locust tree.
This is the king grape variety of the La Loire area: all the white vintage wines softness, dry or half-dry arise from it.
With this variety we produce French wines of long conservation with complex aromas of roasted almond,lime, quince and cinnamon.
This grape variety grows in the vineyards of le Rhone, more exactly in the Condrieu and Chateaux Grillet areas.
French wines of this variety are instilled with the aromas of apricot, locust tree, roasted almond or sometimes violet.
Also called "Gringet", this grape variety is produced in the Jura district - famous for Yellow Wines and Château-Chalon wines, in which we find notes of fresh walnut, spices and apple.
Cultivated in Lorraine and in the Center of France, you can find alot of this variety in Bourgogne also.
Less fine than Chardonnay, Aligoté produces fresh and nervous white wines which we drink while young to take advantage completely of the green apple and lemon aromas.
This grape variety is commonly used for dessert wines, but also cultivated to produce lively and light white wines in Alsace, in the Loire or also in Savoy.
Melon (Muscadet wine)
This grape variety forms part of the composition of the Muscadet wine produced in the region of Nantes. With quite an acidic character, this variety confers on wines discreet aromas of apple, cut hay, and iodine.
There are also numerous other white grape varieties such as:
Grenache blanc ; Pinot blanc ; Sémillon ; Sylvaner ; Ugni-blanc ; Altesse ; Arbois ; Arrufiac ; Aubin ; Baroque ; Bourboulenc ; Clairette ; Colombard ; Courbu ; Folle blanche ; Gros manseng ; Petit maseng ; Jacquère ; Jurançon blanc ; Len de l’el ; Macabeu ; Marsanne ; Mauzac ; Merlot blanc ; Molette ; Muscadelle ; Muscat à petits grains ; Muscat d’Alexandrie ; Muscat d’ottonel ; Roussanne ; Picpoul ; St Pierre doré ; Sacy ; Tourbat ; Vermentino
The Black French Grapes Variety
Cultivated mostly inBordeaux, the southwest, the Saumur-Champigny, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence areas, this grape produces French wines that are well-built, of long conservation but with a lot of sharpness.
This popular variety provides typical aromas of green pepper, licorice and blackcurrant.
With a little less sharpness than its close cousin, the Cabernet-Sauvignon, this grape confers on wines the same character.
This variety of French wines is at the origin of most red vintage wines of Touraine (St Nicolas de Bourgueil, Chinon), and also in the composition of wines of Bordeaux.
This unique grape variety is used for the red vintage wines of Bourgogne. Pinot Noir is also cultivated on the edges of the Loire river (Sancerre wines), in Alsace and in Champagne.
This variety of grape is very renowned for its sharpness and its aromas of small red fruits.
Primarily used in the composition of all the vintage wines of Bordeaux and the southwest. In Pomerol(a famous wine town), the producers convert this grape variety to obtain a delicate, velvety and round wine.
Cultivated in all the southern part of France, this grape variety is mostly represented in the North of the valley of the Rhone, where we extract from its grape the powerful tanins, a very concentrated color and the aromas of black currant, pepper, blackberry and bilberry.
Cultivated in most of the Mediterranean vineyards, we use it in combination to give complicated red vintage wines, such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas. This variety enjoys aromas of laurel, blackberry, spices and licorice in old the wines.
Mostly present in Provence and in Languedoc-Roussillon, Bandol (a famous town on the French Riviera) is its soil of preference, where it benefits from ideal climatic conditions for its cultivation. This variety develops wines from which arise black fruits, leather, licorice and blackberry aromas.
Present in Touraine, in the southwest and in Savoy, Gamay expresses itself the most completely in the "Beaujolais wine".
We can obtain with this variety, wines with typical aromas of banana or English candy.
In a more general way, this variety gives fruity and very drinkable red wines - very pleasant to drink for young people!
In the case of the Beaujolais, we can obtain during a good harvest a wine of rather good conservation.
Côt (or Malbec)
This is the king variety in the southwest and also in Auxerre area.
This variety is specially appreciated by the wine producers of Bordeaux.
It's also appreciated for the color which it brings to the wine.
The name given to this grape is evocative of its tannique character - and very much appreciated in the vineyards of the southwest of France.
In Madiran where we know how to art of wine-making, we obtain wines of long conservation with aromas of black fruits, without excess of bitterness.
You can find also many other red grape varieties like :
Carignan ; Cinsault ; Braquet ; Calitor ; César ; Cournoise ; Courbu noir ; Duras ; Fer servadou ; Fuella nera ; Grolleau ; Jurançon rouge ; Maseng noir ; Mérille ; Meunier ; Mondeuse ; Négrette ; Nielluccio ; Petit verdo ; Picpoul noir ; Pinot d’Aunis ; Pouslard ; Sciacarello ; Tibouren ; Trousseau
For how to conserve your French wines and free tips about wine storage click here.
Enjoy your French wines!
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