The Burgundy wine region is found between Auxerre and the Macon district. In Burgundy, wine ageing can take place for up to 24 months after harvest. Wine is aged in tanks or in oak casks. There are more than 100 AOCs in the Burgundy region, of which most are red and white as well as Crémant de Bourgogne which is made with the Aligoté, Gamay, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Thanks to the Vosges mountains, the vineyards of the Alsace benefit from a warm, dry, semi-continental climate. Between Colmar, the wine capital and the towns of Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé, Bergheim and the famous Wines of the Alsace wine route, the seven main grape varieties of the region are Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Alsace Muscat and Gewurztraminer. Wines from the Alsace stand out thanks to their wide ranging bouquet and flavours.
The Loire Valley’s vine area covers an area of 800km and spans three regions (Anjou, Touraine and Centre), of which 250km can be found within a UNESCO World Heritage site. The geographical extent of this region allows for a highly diversified range of wines and is made up of 50 different appellations. Wines from the Loire Valley are ideal for all occasions. In Nantes the main grape is Muscadet, also known as Melon de Bourgogne, Cabernet Franc in Anjou and Gamay and Sauvignon Blanc in Touraine.
Famous amongst the French wine regions, wines from Bordeaux are exceptional thanks to the region’s climate and the unique terroir upon which the vineyards are cultivated. Wines from Bordeaux are red and white with the colour of the skin of the grape determining the colour of the wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec are the principal red grape varietals whilst Semillon, Muscadelle and white Merlot are the main white varietals.
In the Côtes du Rhône, vineyards are planted on either side of the river from whence the region takes its name. The vines were originally grown by the Romans who undertook important work to cultivate the vines. If we consider that Châteauneuf du Pape has the best reputation from this region, Condrieu, produced with the Viognier varietal, is the region’s most recognised white wine.
There are so many beautiful French wine regions to discover both in terms of tantalising your eyes and your taste buds as well as enjoying the beauty of their countryside and tasting the fruit of each region's labour.