France is famous for a number of things – amazing food, the Eiffel tower, beautiful women, and of course, some of the best wine in the world. French wine is produced in several regions throughout France, on vineyards covering more than over 2 million acres. In a typical year, seven to eight billion bottles of wine are produced in France, making it Italy’s strongest competitor for recognition as the world’s largest wine producer. Some French wine varietals have roots as far back as the 6th century BC, and many of France’s regions claim to still use recipes and techniques perfected in ancient Roman times.
Over the last several hundred years, French wines have been slowly becoming the most revered and most well known wines in the world. France produces, to many, some of the most familiar varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. Additionally, the names of many French wine regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne are also well-known throughout the world. The quality, techniques and styles used by French wine makers have been the benchmark for wine making in most wine-producing countries for many years.
Perhaps French wines are so loved by the world because the French so love their wine. French wine plays an important role in French identity and pride. However, over the last few decades, international competition in the wine industry has become more aggressive, and France’s status has been challenged both by new wine makers and by traditional wine countries in southern Europe. This fact combined with decreased domestic consumption of wine has forced some French vineyards to deal with struggling wine sales.
The complex regulations and traditions behind French wine making can be hard to understand, and the labels can be impossible to decipher. The central concept to understanding French wine is to know the difference between terroir wines and AOC wines. “Terroir wines” are designated by their place of origin, which is specified on labels of French wine. AOC rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are allowed in different winemaking regions also referred to as appellations. Each of France’s several hundred geographically defined appellations has a different list of wines it is allowed to produce. The rules must be followed by all producers who wish to use an AOC label on their wines.
Perhaps once of France’s most popular wines, Bordeaux is produced in a large wine making region on the Atlantic coast. The Bordeaux region has a long history of exporting its wines overseas, making in one of the most well-known French wines around the world. Bordeaux wines are known for having powerful, tannic flavors. And have become some of the most collected and treasured wines in the world. Although its red wines are the most loved, wine makers in the Bordeaux region also make some sweet white wines. portland or wine tours