The French are famous wine drinkers, and their luxe lifestyle and relaxed eating and drinking habits are what gave birth to the French Paradox theory.The world might still be arguing on the paradox, but no one argues that France is actually home to some of the best wine destinations on the planet.
The most famous wine areas are Burgundy and Bordeaux, but the French wine scene extends all the way to the capital city itself. Large amounts of land are devoted to the production of grapes and high-quality wine is something that most wineries strive for. From filling shop windows to finding a place in every-day meals, wines are omnipresent in the French way of life. Thus, long story short, it is truly a sin to visit France and not check out at least one of its great wine regions. Below we are listing the top wine destinations in France, in an arbitrary order as they are all truly good wine regions!
Loire Valley Wine Region (above region)
The Loire River flows by vineyards all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The Touraine and Anjou regions are home to the most diverse wines and can be easily accessed via a 90-minute train journey from Paris. This area is considered to be the best wine destination in France when it comes to discovering small family wineries, ancient castles and medieval-era cities. The castles found here range from beautiful chateaus to medieval fortresses. The Chateau d’Usse, located close to Chinon, is considered to be the original setting for the Sleeping Beauty. The ideal time to visit the Loire Valley is between Easter and the autumn harvest. Two of the most popular wines found here include Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. The most famous names of Loire Valley include Couly-Dutheil, famous for its 10th century cellars, Chateau Moncontour, home to the best Chenin Blancs, and Bouvet-Ladubay, perfect for experiencing tutored tastings.
Champagne Wine Region
Champagne, the first region of France to enjoy legal protection, is also one of its most beautiful areas. The ideal way to enjoy wine experiences in Champagne is on the Routes du Champagne, which runs through the Mongagne de Reims and is home to some of the biggest champagne houses in the world. Another interesting attraction is the grave of Dom Perignon, the one who discovered your favorite bubbly. Moet & Chandon, Taittinger and Veuve Clicquot are some of the greatest winemakers here. Bookmundi recommends you to start your journey from Paris and take the Champagne tour which also includes Taittinger and Louis Roederer wineries along the way. This gives you the very best of beautiful sceneries and impressive champagnes.
Bordeaux Wine Region
Bordeaux is the most extensive and one of the most revered wine producing areas in France. Mere mentions of names such as Petrus, Mouton Rothschild, Haut-Brion and Cheval-Blanc are enough to remind you of some of the best red wines on the planet. Bordeaux extends on both sides of the Gironde River, and presents a vast array of appellations and sub-regions. It is one of the best wine destinations for tourist because of its visitor-friendly facilities and amenities and those beautiful wine tours. The best wines area of Bordeaux is Medoc. Located along the left bank of Gironde, Medoc is where you get to see some of the most aristocratic reds of France. Think Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Margaux. Moreover, most estates in this area are as impressive as their wines. The Chateau Beaumont deserves particular mention because of its beautiful Louis XV style. Chateau Filhot is also popular among travelers because of its exciting tours.
The second largest wine growing area in France is breathtakingly beautiful. The region boasts of 13 wine trails, each trail presenting an array of well-tended vineyards and exciting tours. The trails also highlight the vast and varied landscapes of the Cotes du Rhone. The best time to visit Rhone Valley is during the Festival of Vine and Wine that is held in the month of May. The harvest celebration of Ban des Vendanges is another beautiful time to visit Rhone Valley. Some of the most famous wineries in the area include the Chaveay de Gigondas, Paul Jaboulet Aine and Carre du Palais.
Burgundy Wine Region
Some of the oldest and most intricate appellations can be found in Burgundy, making wine tours a pleasure here. Many of the vineyards have been cultivated since the 500s and countless religious orders such as Meursault, Chambertin and Santenay ended up becoming some of the most famous wine labels of France. Each property consists of small disconnected pieces of land, and many wineries offer exciting and fun wine tours. The idea base for your wine adventures in Burgundy is Beaune. Those searching for a larger town would find Dijon to be perfect. The most celebrated wines come from the Cote d’Or, an area that runs from Dijon to Santenay and literally translates to ‘the golden slope.’ You can also check out the classic Route des Grands Crus which passes through some of the most iconic villages in the region and is home to several iconic red wine labels such as Gevrey-Chambertin or Nuits-St-Georges.
Bookmundi highly recommends the following tour:
Alsace Wine Region
The Alsace Route du Vin runs to the north of the Vosges Mountains through 180 kms. of picture-perfect sceneries and traditional French villages. The wines found here are famous for their use of German white grapes such as riesling or gewurtztraminer and the best place to try out these wines are in traditional taverns that are known as winstubs. Don’t forget to pair your wines with the Alsatian cuisine for the perfect food and wine experience. The most famous estates in the area include Dopff au Moulin, the name behind the region’s main sparkling wine (Cremant d’Alsace), and Weinbach at Kayserberg, famous for its impressive estate. Some of the most beautiful landscapes of Alsace can be found in Les Alpilles, where the white mountains cut through green valleys to form an amazing contrast of colors.
There are so many wine destinations to choose from that finding something perfect can become confusing. Bookmundi helps you find that perfect match which offers the best experiences and flavors to suit your tastes and desires. Stay tuned to Bookmundi for more wine-fueled adventures around the world.
If you want to experience more than just French wines during your visit to France, check out these tours and things to do in France.