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Wine regions of France

Wine regions of France

Burgundy, Champagne, Beaujolais, Chardonnay… France produces some of the most famous wines in the world.

Their names alone conjure images of rolling vineyards, majestic chateaux and sun-kissed slopes, so a driving holiday promises glorious scenery, as well as the chance to taste your favourite wines.

France has many wine producing regions, each with its own speciality and ‘terroir’ - environmental characteristics such as soil type, altitude, slope and orientation to the sun. These shape the type of grapes that will thrive in the region, giving us fruity Beaujolais from the Burgundy region and light, dry Muscadets from the Loire.

Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) wines are strictly controlled by grape and region, Vin de Pays wines comes from wider, less-regulated sources and Vin de France wines are from anywhere in France.

Explore the map of wine regions of France.

Champagne & Alsace

Champagne is the northern and most celebrated of France’s wine regions and home to some of the finest champagnes in the world. Reims is home to Pommery and Taittinger. There are tours available of the Pommery cellars and Elizabethan-style estate, and at Tattinger House you can discover the history of the cellars and taste the famous champagne. Reims also boasts the oldest Champagne House in the world, the Maison Ruinart, which was founded in 1729. Its 40-metre deep chalk cellars are a UNESCO-listed monument.

The Alsace region sits in the north east of France. The grapes grown here are similar to those found in German wines, and many of the world’s finest Rieslings and Gewurztraminers are produced in the region. You’ll taste primarily white wine in Alsace, both sweet and dry varieties, although recent years have seen a focus on dessert-style wines. Region has its own 170km Wine Route through picturesque villages and countryside and there are celebrations and open cellars held in October.

The Loire Valley & Burgundy

The Loire Valley is perhaps most famous for its majestic chateaux such as Chambord, Chenonceau and Amboise. However, it also boasts some of the most picturesque vineyards in France, where fine wines such as Saumur, Sauvignon, Chinon and Muscadet are produced. It’s a wonderful region to tour with your car. The scenery is spectacular and there are many wine festivals in truly memorable settings. Why not try wine tasting under the stars at the Chateau de Chenonceau, subterranean wine tasting in illuminated Troglodyte Caves or attend the September Festivini Festival in Saumur for fun guided walks and torch-lit vineyard tours.

Burgundy is one of the most famous wine producing regions in France, famous for Pinot noir, Beaujolais and Chardonnay. In 2015, the Burgundy vineyards received UNESCO World Heritage status. The region also offers some of France’s most beautiful scenery, and you can drive along its famed Routes des Grand Crus or the Grand Vins de Bourgogne. If you enjoy Chablis, visit to La Cave du Connaisseur in Chablis.