France

Winegrowing in France dates back to the Greek and Roman times. It first began in the South East of France and spread towards the North and West to result in the wine regions we know today (with the exception of the « vins de France » produced in the Ile-de-France region which are not produced any more because of the damages caused by phylloxera). The French system of "appellation" which guarantees authenticity, origin and quality of the products, is now a world reference. France produces wines from a wide range of varieties, with regional, sometimes local, differences and possesses a level of quality of winemaking which has reached world fame.

Surface: 800 000 ha                            Production : 41 Mhl                 Consumption : 30 Mhl

Terroir 

  • soils : all types, including limestone, shale, granit
  • climate : all types, moderate in general from continental in Alsace, Savoy or Jura to Mediterranean in Provence and Corsica
  • main white grape varieties: chardonnay, , sauvignon, chenin, viognier, riesling, sémillon, gewürztraminer, ugni blanc (the latter mainly for Cognac and Armagnac)
  • main red grapes varieties: mMerlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot nNoir, syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, gamay

Main wine regions :

Alsace, Beaujolais, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Corsica, Jura, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Provence, Bugey, Savoy and South-West

Legislation

The AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) system was created in France in 1947 by the INAO (Institut Nationale des Appellations d'Origine). The « appellations » are awarded according to the terroir, the climate and quality, on the basis of strict regional product specifications. They allow to secure the quality of wines produced in France and the authenticity of the terroir.

Sites : www.inao.fr  and www.vins-france.com/