The History of French Wine

The History of French Wine

There are many countries around the world that are known for their fine wine. However, the nation of France stands out from the rest. When most people think of France, they think of Paris. With its beautiful boulevards, bustling cafes and restaurants, Eiffel Towel and Louvre Museum, there is plenty to marvel in the City of Lights. But for wine enthusiasts, the real magic is in the southern region of France where some of the most amazing wineries in the world are situated.

How it all began

It is very likely that the Romans brought the practice of viticulture to what is today known as France. Like many countries which were under Roman rule, by the time the Roman Empire fell, wine was firmly established as a trading commodity and part of everyday life.

Along with all of northern Europe, much of France’s wine industry was nearly destroyed in the nineteenth century due to the vine louse, phylloxera. When it was discovered that American root stock was immune to this terrible bug, vineyards all across France began to recover.

In 1855, emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system be introduced to identify Bordeaux’s best wines, a system that is still in place today. This led to the introduction of first through fifth “growths’. These are better known as crus today.

Wine Production in France

France is currently the world’s top producer of fine wine in terms of volume. Almost every type of wine is produced, using various methods ranging from new to modern techniques. The top regions in France are:

Alsace

Mainly produces white wine made from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris & Riesling.

Bordeaux

Mainly produces red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Burgundy

Mainly produces red wines made from Pinot Noir and white wine made from Chardonnay.

Champagne

Mainly produces sparkling wines made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Loire

Mainly produces white wines made from Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc.

Rhone Valley

Mainly produces red wines made from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and others.

Today, French wines are some of the most expensive wines in the world. However, the competition levels in the world of wine have drastically increased over the years and they are no longer at the same level of power as they once were. Regardless, no matter where you go in France, there is an amazing wine and an equally amazing meal waiting to be enjoyed.

We have an amazing collection of fine wines from France both in store and online. Interesed? Have a look here.

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20th August 2018

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