five great french wine regions to visit in 2021
France is one of the most renowned wine making regions in the world. Each wine has strict guidelines and standards it must meet in order to be classified as being from a particular region.
If you've noticed, French wines are labelled by wine region or appellation rather than the grape variety. We thought it could be a good time to tell you a bit more about 5 great French wine regions to visit when you may have the chance.
The Provence region in the south of France is the oldest wine growing region in France and specializes in making some of the best rose in the world. The region has three major appellations: Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux Varois en Provence and Côtes de Provence. The conditions in Provence are perfect for growing grapes and making beautiful wine from a hot, dry Mediterranean climate with 300 days of sun per year to mistral winds and mineral rich soils. The colour of Provence rose wine ranges from a pale blush, which is drier (like AIX Rosé), to a rosy pink, which is fruitier in flavor. A wide range of grapes are used in rose, including Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel varieties. The region produces only 7% red wine and 4% white wine.
The most famous French wine in the world, Champagne is in a class by itself. This prestigious sparkling wine is made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes using a particular technique that involves a second fermentation occurring in the bottle. The Champagne region is easily accessible, located in northeastern France, just two-hours by car from Paris and 45 minutes by train.
A must-visit destination for wine lovers! The region of Bordeaux produces some of the most celebrated wine in France and belongs to the three fundamental pillars of French viticulture. Covering over 300,000 acres, it’s the largest wine-producing area in France. Wine from Bordeaux is made from many grape varieties, most notably Merlot and Cabernet. Located in the southwest of France, the region is centered in the city of Bordeaux, but the vineyards are in the broader area called the Gironde department.
Burgundy, which stretches from south of Paris to north of Lyon, has the most wine applications in France. It’s best known for red wine made with Pinot Noir grapes and white wine made from Chardonnay grapes, and the rigorous winemaking process respects the centuries-old tradition. Chablis and Beaujolais wines also come from Burgundy.
The Alsace region is in the eastern part of France near the border with Germany. Alsace produces some of the world’s most famous white wines and the region produces only 10% of red wine from the grapes in that region. The white wines tends to be fruity and floral and the grape varieties include Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sylvaner, Pinot Gris and Muscat. Alsace is the least known wine region and is sometimes overlooked.
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For the eyes: Bright, pale pink color.
For the nose: Fruity, fresh & fragant.
For the palate: A delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.
In 2020, an early but exceptionally beautiful harvest resulted in one of decade’s best vintages.