If you are a lover of wine then of course a trip to France would be in order. There are dozens of fantastic little wine regions and vineyards in France – and I won’t be able to talk about them here. Instead we will highlight the five main regions that every wine lover, and those who are just entering the world of wine, should visit on their next trip to France. If the thought of planning a tour around the huge variety of wine regions in France is a bit daunting, you might want to consider a wine themed river cruise with Cruiseabout. While it will be more expensive, you won’t have to worry about finding a designated driver!
Every one has heard of Champagne. It is the world’s most famous wine. But many people don’t know that only wine produced using a certain technique, and within a strict geographic boundary, can be called Champagne. All the rest if just Sparkling Wine.
Champagne comes from a small region Northeast of Paris, and is produced from the red pinot noir grape. Some of the biggest and most famous vineyards here, such as Moet, offer daily tours and tastings. But make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment.
If you are a lover of white wine, head to the Loire valley. This region is famous for dry Chenin Blanc wines, light Muscadets, and tangy Sauvignon Blancs. However the region is also renowned for the sheer variety of wines produced, so you should be able to find something that tickles your palette. This region is also home to some beautiful castles and mansions (many of which are vineyards as well), making this an extremely romantic destination as well.
Another famous white wine region, Alsace is renowned for its Reislings, Pinot Gris, Muscats, and my personal favourite; Gewürztraminer. If you love sweet white wines then you won’t be able to resist a good Gewürztraminer.
This region is all about the reds. These are your full bodied, knock your socks off kind of reds. It’s no surprise that the grape of choice here is the Cabernet-Sauvignon. This is also the region where all the wines are known not by their grape variety, but by their “Chateau;” the grand estate where they are grown and produced. Each Chateau has its own signature style and taste, so try to visit as many as you can.
Burgundy vineyards are typically small and produce small amounts of both white and red high quality wine.s The five main wine-growing areas are Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâcon and Beaujolais. My personal favourites are Mâcon and Beaujolais, although it can be very very hard to find Mâcon here in Australia. For lovers of Pinot Noir, this would be your best bet for sampling some truly extraordinary vintages.