Produced throughout the country, French wine is among some of the best in the world. Although its origin dated back to the 6th century BC when Southern Gaul in France was colonised by the Greeks, the real start of the trade was in the year 300. Roman colonists began the process of planting vines in parts of France that later went on to become major wine regions.
Back in the 19th century, the country suffered a spread of Phylloxera which resulted in the destruction and subsequent replanting of most vines. In addition, much like other major wine regions around the world, French wine production took another major knock during the world wars in the 20th century.
However, all was not lost. Realising the potential value of the industry, the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) was established in 1935 to protect the interests and businesses of French wine makers. Today, the AOC continues to operate – however, in 2012, it became the Appellation d’origine Protégée and is now recognised throughout Europe. The idea is that by legally defining areas in which specific grapes are grown, the integrity of fine French wine may be protected, and fraud prevented.
Today, France is famous for not only its long history in the growing of vines and its involvement in moulding the global industry, but also the incredible variety and quality of the wine it produces. The most common French wine varietal is Merlot, accounting for 14% of vines planted in the country.
A plethora of other varieties are grown in the country. Some of the most successful and popular include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Ugni Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Carignan, and Sauvignon Blanc. So, if you’re looking to buy French wine, there certainly is no shortage of variety!
Unsurprisingly, France is home to a plurality of wine regions that produce impeccable wines across a range of the above varietals. Some of the most well-known French wine producing regions are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, Champagne, and Corsica. These, of course, account for only a few of the top regions in the country.
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