Get ready for a wine adventure through the wine regions of France, from Champagne to Provence, and its local specialties.
Wine, a drink with sweet and delicate flavor that is uplifting and enhances any meal. White, pink, red … France is one of the countries with the best wines and champagne. Many of the French wines are classified according to the region where the grape is grown under the designation of origin AOC ( Appellation d’origine controlee or Controlled Denomination of Origin ). The type of name given reflects the unique qualities of the soil and climate where the grapes are grown. Getting to know the more than 300 French wines with AOC is no easy task, but a good reason to visit France and try to test as many of them.
Travel includes the wine regions of the Gallic country, from the huge hills of the Rhone valley to the vineyards of Alsace near the German border, passing close to Bordeaux near the Atlantic. Pour yourself a glass of inspiration with this guide to the wine regions of France.
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The Bordeaux wine region is indeed “au bord de l’eau ,” which means “near the sea.” The river Dordogne flows on one side and Garonne on the other, and both converge in the Gironde estuary that flows into the Atlantic. Its sandy soil provides unique characteristics to the grapes, which has inspired the use of grapes in treatments of wine therapy in the area, as they are rich in minerals and antioxidants.
Saint Emilion is a treat for both the eye and to the palate. In this municipality, which is listed in Unesco World Heritage, you can visit a monolithic church and ruinations from the ancient time, as well as taste good red wine. A visit to the port city of Bordeaux is the perfect gastronomic stop. Try the entrecote mode Bordeaux and ribs with red wine sauce. Continue the journey through the estuary, dotted with curious fishing nets ( carrelets ) to reach Médoc.
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Médoc AOC is the name that comes to mind when we think of prestigious French wines. There is a list of Grand Crus (classification of regional wines) dating from 1855 and help you find the best vineyards, like Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac. Following an annual tradition since 1945, the owners invite famous artists to design the labeling of bottles, so every year the bottles are different. The list of guest artists includes Dali, Picasso and Jeff Koons!
If you like running, you can join the Médoc Marathon , held in September. It’s a costume race where there are also 22 stalls with wine and snack items (oysters, meat, cheese).
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The wine region of Burgundy has an excellent reputation and produces the most expensive French red wines. The average price of a bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti wine is around $13363! Professionals and wine connoisseurs from all over the world come every November to Beaune auction where high quality wines of the Beaune vineyards are sold. The activities organized during the event are a great opportunity to try local products and wines.
Burgundy visit requires a stop in Dijon, famous for its mustard city and its aperitif drink made with blackcurrant liquor and wine. Dijon is also the city of a hundred bell towers; stop by the church of Notre-Dame and on the side of the temple, you can touch the sculpture of an owl. They say touch with your left hand while walking from left to right brings good luck.
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Between Burgundy and the Swiss Alps, France’s smallest wine region hides. Far from being exploited by tourism, Jura region retains a rural charm that makes it the ideal place to go to have a talk one on one with almost 200 winegrowers. Jura’s best hidden secret is the ‘Yellow Wine’ called ‘Vin Jaune’, a esteemed wine made of 100% of savagnin grapes and matured for at least six years after being made.
After the vin jaune, you must try the Château-Chalon AOC, scented nuts, spices and even ginger. It is convenient to let it rest a day before drinking it. The medieval town of the same name also hides Le P’tit Castel, a traditional restaurant where you can accompany the wines of Jura with copious amounts of Poulet de Bresse AOC (Bresse chicken of high quality) with morel mushroom sauce.