French Wine 101
Air Date: Wednesday, September 27th 2023
France, often regarded as the heart of winemaking, has significantly shaped the world of wine. Its wines are benchmarks, often compared to by winemakers worldwide. (Ever heard of a "Burgundian" style Pinot Noir or a "Bordeaux" style blend?)
Second only to Italy in wine production, France churns out a staggering 8 billion bottles annually, and it boasts 792,000 hectares of vineyards, making it the third-largest vineyard-planted country globally. They export 30% of their wine but are also the world's third-highest consumers of wine per capita, trailing only Portugal and Italy.
Diverse Varieties and Regions
France's winemaking glory isn't just about grapes; it's about regions. The country is home to 200+ unique grape varieties, but the real stars are its wine regions. There are 11 major wine regions that span a wide variety of climates and territories. Here are five of the most well-known and popular:
Cracking the French Wine Label Code
When buying French wine, understanding labels is crucial. Unlike the US, where you can grow any grape anywhere, French wines are usually labeled by region or appellation. This region tells you what grape(s) to expect in the wine. Each appellation has specific rules dictating the grapes used, their quality, vineyard practices, and winemaking processes.
Dive deeper into these wine regions and learn more about French wine classifications in this podcast episode.
Let me know, should I do a Part 2 to cover the other regions in France?