You’re tasting a place when you taste French wine, so here’s a look at some of the top french wine regions you should visit.
French Wine Regions - A Pocket Guide
Alsace Wine Region
Alsace vineyards produce excellent, refreshing, white table wines. Separated from Germany on the east by the Rhine, Alsace understandably produces French wines similar to their German cousins. However, the dry and full-flavored, spicy Alsatian wines, 90% of which are white, are stronger in taste and alcohol than German wines.
Bordeaux Wine Region
The French Wine Region of Bordeaux, with 247,000 acres, is a wine-producing area three times the size of Burgundy. Bordeaux is the largest fine wine-making region in the world, as well as the most legendary. More than half the fine wines of the world come from French wine regions and about half of these are from Bordeaux. Although the reputation is built mostly on red wines, especially those from the Médoc, St-Èmilion and Pomerol districts, this French wine region produces the entire gamut of wines, including dry and sweet whites, and rosés.
Burgundy Wine Region
Burgundy is home to some of the most exciting wines in the world. Burgundy also produces two of the most popular French Wines: Beaujolais and Chablis. In general, Burgundy wines are fruity, dark, full-bodied, and sweet compared to Bordeaux wines which are light, dry, and delicate. Burgundy red wines tend to mature much faster than those of Bordeaux. Also, unlike Bordeaux, many wines must be made using a single grape. Burgundy wines vary greatly. Less than one-quarter of Burgundy wine is white, with Chablis the best known among them.
Champagne Wine Region
Champagne produces a wine so famous that many people do not know precisely what it is. Champagne is rigidly controlled and strictly defined in France, and the name, far from applying to all sparkling wine, is only legal when applied to the one unique wine that is made in the French wine region of Champagne for which it is named.
Loire Wine Region
Loire is sometimes regarded as the most beautiful French wine region. The river is wide and deep, the landscape is quiet and undulated. The wines reflect the mood of the landscape. They are soft, pleasant, charming and light. White wines make up three-quarters of the production. Loire whites may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet, and are usually better than the reds.
Rhône Wine Region
The Rhône River stretches from Switzerland to the Mediterranean, its banks lined with vineyards, often planted on steep slopes. Rhône reds are sturdy, big, perfumed and often magnificent. The whites also have a distinctive vigor of their own. The rosé from Tavel is probably the best known of all rosé wines.
Cruising through the French Wine Regions
Many of our cruises are through some of the best French Wine Regions. We have developed strong relationships with many renowned vineyards over more than 30 years, seeing a new generation of viticulturers combining modern techniques with age-old processes.
Whatever French wine region you decide to visit, there is something to please every palate and during your cruise you will enjoy a wide selection of wines, all served to pair with your meals.
Why not check out: French Wine: A Pocket Dictionary