Alsace – Bordeaux – Burgundy – Champagne – Languedoc/Roussillon – Loire Valley -Rhône
French wine plays an important role in both the French identity and it’s pride on the world stage. The combination of French wine and the equally influential French gastronomy have given rise to “Food-Tourism” throughout the country and has spilled over into other countrie due the increase in international competition within the wine industry. The greatest challenge to French domination was the 1976 Paris wine challenge, often referred to as the “Judgement of Paris”, in which several California wines won out in a blind wine tasting against some of France’s oldest and best regarded wines.Two central concepts to high-quality French wines that can help the wine tourist decide upon where to visit and what to drink once you get there, are the significance of terroir and the system of “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC).” ”Terroir wines” reflect their place of origin, which are specified on labels of French wine, usually in terms of the wine’s appellation. Appellation rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are allowed in each of France’s several hundred geographically defined appellations. These rules must be followed by all producers who wish to use an AOC designation for their wines. It has been said that in France, consumers buy wine based on the place of origin while in America, greater attention is placed on the grape. You will notice that most American wines will feature the grape varietals on the label, which is rare in France.