An introduction to the famous French wine regions


With between 50 and 60 million hectolitres sold every year, France is the biggest wine producing nation in the world and its red, white and rosé bottles are celebrated all over the world. If you are looking forward to exploring some fine French wine on your next French river cruise holiday, treating yourself to an Avignon wine tasting experience is an absolute must.

Alsace

Another of the best-known French winemaking regions is the Alsace, with its position between the Vosges Mountains in the west and the Rhine river in the east helping vines to grow on well over 37,000 acres in the area. Dry and sweet white wines are the predominant exports of the region and take up 90 per cent of all wine production.

A particularly popular creation of the Alsace is its Riesling wine which, along with the gewürztraminer grape, is acclaimed for its highly aromatic flavour. This region is also celebrated for its sparkling wines, with the Crémant d'Alsace vintages celebrated all across the world. A peculiar fact about Alsace wine is that by law they must all be stored in tall bottles, also known as ‘flutes d’Alsace’.

Burgundy

Finally, we head to Burgundy in the east, renowned for its namesake wines which are enjoyed in countries all over the world. Created from Lyon to Mâcon, the dry red wines are crafted mainly from Pinot Noir grapes and the white using Chardonnay grapes. This is one of the oldest of all the French wine regions, with archaeological evidence dating its viticulture back to as early as the second century AD. Its long-standing history and prestige means that Burgundy wine is some of the most expensive in the world, including examples from Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Armand Rousseay and Henri Jayer.

Image credit: Mariyana Misaleva (Shutterstock.com)