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About French Wine - Everything You Need to Know

Of all the "wine countries" in the world, this one needs the least introduction. French wine is rightfully regarded as some of the best in the world. The best of red and white wines are among the accomplishments the French wine industry can boast of.

Beyond your average pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon, there is also a treasure trove of rare and vintage wines. In summary, France offers a complete journey to any wine connoisseur. The regional growing conditions and grape varieties can leave you experiencing one surprise after another for years on end.

In this guide, we will start with what we know best - where we source our own French wine selection. After that, we'll take you on a brief journey through the big wide world of French vineyards.

Where We Source Our French Wines

At Eurovision Wines, our French Cellar sources the bulk of its finest French wines from a large negotiant in Bordeaux. They specialise in supplying wines and spirits to all of France's Liquor outlets and restaurants. They also export French wine to many countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

Their wines are selected by the most fastidious experts to ensure only the best of the best are traded by their company. We then from their vast selection choose the wines that will best match the expectations of Australian taste buds while ensuring the French difference stays delightfully evident.

Browse our selection of French Wines in the French Cellar

Wine Regions in France.

There are 12 main French wine regions

  • Bordeaux
  • Burgundy
  • Champagne
  • Alsace
  • Loire
  • Provence
  • Jura
  • Savoie
  • Southwest France
  • Languedoc- Roussillon
  • Rhône
  • Corsica

French vineyard in Bordeaux near the mountains during the day


Bordeaux, nestled in the southwestern provinces of Poitou and Aquitaine in France, is renowned as the largest fine wine region in the world and the area with the densest concentration of vineyards in France. The history of winemaking here dates back to the 1st century AD, initiated by the Romans who recognized the region's optimal soil and climate for viticulture. They not only started the local wine industry but also exported Bordeaux wines back to Rome. The winemaking traditions established by the Romans persist today, featuring three classic Bordeaux varieties:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet franc

In Bordeaux, wine producers are typically referred to as Château, which comprises both a vineyard and a building—ranging from grand manors to simple shacks.

The Bordeaux region is divided into several distinct growing areas, each known for its unique French wine varieties:

Médoc: 4,000 single vineyard (château) wines. Planting started in the 18th century.

  • St. Emillion
  • Pessac-Leognan
  • Entre-Deux-Mers - Produces mostly white wine
  • Graves
  • Sauternes
  • Graves
  • Bourg
  • Blaye
  • Cerons
  • Barsac
  • Libournais District
  • Pomerol
  • Burgundy
  • This French wine region is located in central France. These wines became famous throughout Europe in the 14th century.
  • Principal wine regions
  • Côte de Nuits
  • Côte de Beaune: these 2 areas meet at the town of Beaune. Known as the “golden” Cote d’Or, this 30 mile strip of land produces Burgundy’s best wines.
  • Chablis
  • Côte Chalonnaise
  • Maçonnais
  • Beaujolais

French vineyards in Champagne stretching out on the horizon


Located in northeastern France, the Champagne region is nestled predominantly within the department of Marne. This compact area is renowned for being the birthplace of Champagne, credited to the 17th-century monk Dom Pérignon. Only wines produced in this region using the "Méthode Champenoise" can rightfully bear the name Champagne.

The "Méthode Champenoise" is the traditional technique for making Champagne and is also employed in crafting sparkling wines in other French wine regions (though these are not labeled as Champagne). The effervescent and refreshing Champagnes from this region became a fixture at French royal coronations due to their distinctive brightness and refined flavor profile.

Our selection of French sparkling wines and Champagne specials feature similar mild acidity and fruity flavors. We encourage you to explore our tasting notes to choose the perfect bottle to begin your experience with these exquisite French wine varieties.

Champagne Wine Areas

  • Aub district – 25% of the region's Champagne is produced here plus Rose des Riceys
  • Valee de la Marne district
  • Valee de la Marne district
  • Côte de Sezanne district
  • Côte de Sezanne district

French vineyards in Alsace in the afternoon

Alsace wine originates from the French wine region of Alsace, situated in northeastern France. This picturesque region is an ideal destination for wine enthusiasts looking to embark on a wine-tasting tour. Alsace is predominantly known for its French white wines, ranging from bone-dry Rieslings to the sweet dessert wines known as Vendanges Tardives. This variety in wine styles makes Alsace a notable area within the diverse landscape of French wine regions.

Loire Valley

The Loire Valley, a key player in the French wine scene, is known for producing high-quality wines that range from good to exceptional. This region primarily focuses on both dry and sweet white wines, but its versatility extends to reds, refreshing summer rosés, and sparkling wines as well. This diversity makes the Loire Valley an important and vibrant part of France's wine variety landscape.

Loire Valley Growing Areas:

  • Pays Nantais
  • Anjou Saumur
  • Haut Poitou
  • Touranine
  • Central Vineyards
  • Provence & Languedoc-Roussillon
  • Located in the south of France on the Mediterranean Produces most of France’s table wine (vin de table quality) However new wine appellations are appearing using new technology to revive the heritage of better wines.
  • Growing areas
  • Collioure & Banyuls
  • Côtes de Roussillon
  • Côtes de Roussillon Villages
  • Fitou
  • Corbières
  • Minervois
  • Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
  • Côtes de Provence
  • Cassis
  • Bandol & Cotes de Provence
  • Bellet
  • Coteaux Varois

French vineyards in the Rhône river valley between the Alps and Mediterranean

Situated along the Rhône River, which flows from the Alps to the Mediterranean, the Côtes-du-Rhône region is steeped in winemaking history that dates back to ancient times. This French wine region is renowned for its structured "four-level pyramid" of wine production. In this system, the quality of the wines increases—and their availability becomes progressively rarer—as you move up the levels. This hierarchical approach underscores the variety and quality of French wines produced in the Côtes-du-Rhône, making it a significant contributor to France's esteemed wine landscape.

  • Côtes du Rhône AOC
  • Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC
  • Côtes du Rhône (named) Villages AOC
  • The Crus

Rhône River Valley Growing Areas

  • The pinnacle of quality within the French wine varieties of the Rhône region includes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, located near Avignon in the southern Rhône, renowned as the finest wine of the area. In the northern Rhône, the Cote Rôtie and the Hermitage vineyards stand out, with the latter set on picturesque steep slopes. These wines represent the top echelon of quality, showcasing the exceptional craftsmanship and rich terroir that define French wine production in the Rhône region.Middle: Côte du Rhône Village. Beautiful villages to explore
  • Cheaper: Côte du Rhône – provides most of the wine.


Located in the mountainous area between Burgundy and Switzerland, Jura is a relatively compact French wine region. Despite its size, Jura offers a diverse array of both traditional and unique wine styles. This region includes six growing areas, each boasting a climate similar to that of Burgundy, enhancing its ability to produce distinctive French wine varieties. Jura's contribution to the French wine landscape highlights the richness and diversity found within France's smaller wine-producing regions.

The Jura wine region produces a mix of popular grapes:

  • White chardonnay
  • Savagnin
  • Red poulsard
  • Trousseau
  • Pinot noir
  • Others (Less than 2%)

In general, Jura is known for dry white wine, rose, and sparkling wine. The area is home to native savagnin, poulsard, and other terroir wines.


French vineyard in Savoie wine region near the Alps and Switzerland

Nestled close to Switzerland in the Alpine foothills, the Savoie region is a picturesque yet isolated area within the French Alps. This region offers three distinct appellations, featuring a diverse mix of both red and white wines. Traditionally known for its ski chalet wines, Savoie has embraced modern viticulture techniques, which have enriched the region with a variety of flavors and produced several age-worthy wines.

Despite its remote location, with some sub-regions deeply tucked in mountain valleys and vineyards sprawling along the Franco-Swiss border, Savoie only covers about 5,000 acres of vineyard areas. This makes it one of the smaller wine-producing regions in France, contributing less than one percent to France's total wine exports. Predominantly, local vintners in Savoie focus on white wine grape varieties.

Savoie may be less well-known in the broader French wine scene, but its enchanting microclimate and scenic vineyards make it a unique and intriguing wine region worthy of attention from connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.

The Southwest

The Southwest of France, spanning from the Atlantic coast to the northern borders of Provence, is one of the most expansive and sparsely populated wine regions in France. This area is renowned primarily for its Malbec wines but also offers a broad spectrum of grape varieties. The diversity in grape types and the vast geographical spread contribute significantly to the rich tapestry of French wine varieties, making the Southwest a crucial and intriguing part of France's wine-producing landscape.

French vineyard from the southwest of France with two farmers working

The main grape varieties in the Southwest wine regions include:

  • Cabernet sauvignon
  • Cabernet franc
  • Merlot
  • Muscadelle
  • Negrette
  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Semillon
  • Tannat
  • Ugni blanc

The Southwest wine region, spanning over 120,000 acres, stands as one of the larger wine-producing areas in France. Despite its size, it remains one of the most sparsely populated regions, offering a tranquil and picturesque setting for wine tours. This diverse region caters to all palates, featuring a wide array of French wine varieties. Whether you prefer red wines, white wines, or any other style, the Southwest of France provides a rich selection that is sure to delight any wine enthusiast.


The Southwest and Provence together highlight a distinctive French wine region known for its exceptional rosés. Provence, situated in the far south of France, benefits from a warm and mild climate that is ideal for viticulture. While this region is more traditionally minded and less modernized compared to other French wine regions, it produces both a high quantity and quality of wines, particularly rosés. The picturesque landscapes of Provence make it an excellent destination for wine tasting tours or any visit, offering a deep dive into the classic French wine varieties and the region’s rich viticultural heritage.

Common wines from Provence include:

  • Carignan
  • Barbaroux
  • Grenache
  • Syrah
  • Calitor
  • Cabernet sauvignon
  • Cincault


Situated close to the Rhône, Burgundy, or "Bourgogne," is one of the larger French wine regions known for its straightforward yet exquisite wine offerings. If you are a fan of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, Burgundy has an abundant selection that showcases the best of these varieties. Additionally, the region offers several other major grape varieties that deliver fantastic tastes and aromas. Burgundy is renowned for its dry, crisp red wines, popularly referred to as "Burgundies," making it a celebrated area within the diverse landscape of French wine varieties.


French vineyard on Corsica near the mountains

The island of Corsica, brimming with vineyards along its coastline and interior, is a unique French wine region with 9 growing areas that distinguish it from mainland France. The island's viticulture, which dates back to the 6th century BC, reflects its Italian origins while also celebrating a deeply rooted wine culture. Despite its relatively small size, Corsica boasts 9 AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) regions and over 30 grape varieties, underlining its significant biodiversity.

The island features two major wine-growing areas and holds 4 appellation certifications, making it a diverse viticultural landscape. However, it's particularly noted for its French rosé wines, which constitute more than half of its wine production. This focus on rosé, alongside a variety of other French wine varieties, makes Corsica an intriguing region for wine enthusiasts looking to explore different flavors and styles.

Languedoc - Roussillon

Languedoc-Roussillon, often considered the original French value wine region, is a treasure trove for wine enthusiasts looking for quality red wines at affordable prices. This region is celebrated for its complex and intriguing wines, making it a budget-friendly yet fascinating destination.

In Languedoc-Roussillon, a diversity of grape varieties grow in proximity, leading to a predominance of blended wines rather than single varietal offerings. These blends are known for being richer, fruitier, and more full-bodied. The unique combination of various grape types contributes to the layered complexity of the wines produced here, making Languedoc-Roussillon a key area for exploring diverse French wine varieties.

Popular French Wine Varieties

France is renowned for its exceptional diversity in wine, providing an extensive range of options that cater to all tastes, from reds and whites to rosés and sparkling wines. Commonly, varieties like Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah come to mind as popular choices, making them reliable starting points for those new to French wines.

Among the myriad of French wine regions, the wines from the Côte d'Or are particularly distinguished. Known for producing some of the world's finest wines, they are as prestigious in quality as they are in price, reflecting their esteemed status within the global wine community. This variety ensures that France offers something for every wine enthusiast, whether you seek the boldness of a red or the crispness of a white.

Popular French Wine Varieties

France is renowned for its exceptional diversity in wine, providing an extensive range of options that cater to all tastes, from reds and whites to rosés and sparkling wines. Commonly, varieties like Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah come to mind as popular choices, making them reliable starting points for those new to French wines.

Among the myriad of French wine regions, the wines from the Côte d'Or are particularly distinguished. Known for producing some of the world's finest wines, they are as prestigious in quality as they are in price, reflecting their esteemed status within the global wine community. This variety ensures that France offers something for every wine enthusiast, whether you seek the boldness of a red or the crispness of a white.

To start, consider our featured French wines!

Here is a comprehensive list of some prominent French wine grape varieties, including both red and white grapes:

Red Wine Grapes

Merlot - Widely planted in Bordeaux and used in blends and varietal wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon - A key component in Bordeaux blends, known for its depth and longevity.

Pinot Noir - Primarily associated with Burgundy, known for its delicate flavors and aromas.

Syrah (Shiraz) - Prominent in the Rhône Valley, especially in Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage.

Grenache - Often found in Southern Rhône blends, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Cabernet Franc - Used in Bordeaux for blending and in the Loire Valley for varietal wines like Chinon.

Gamay - The main grape of Beaujolais, known for light, fruity wines.

Cinsault - Often blended with Grenache and Syrah in the South of France.

Carignan - Common in Languedoc-Roussillon, adds color and body to blends

Mourvèdre - Used in Provence and Rhône blends, known for adding structure and dark fruit flavors.

White Wine Grapes

Chardonnay - Grown in Burgundy and Champagne, versatile in both still and sparkling wine production.

Sauvignon Blanc - Predominantly from the Loire Valley and Bordeaux, known for its crisp, acidic profile.

Chenin Blanc - Versatile grape from the Loire Valley, used for everything from dry to sweet wines.

Riesling - Though more associated with Germany, also grown in Alsace, producing aromatic wines.

Viognier - Best known in the Rhône Valley, especially Condrieu, where it produces floral, full-bodied wines.

Pinot Gris - Known as Pinot Grigio in Italy, this grape in Alsace makes rich, slightly sweet wines.

Gewürztraminer - Another Alsatian variety, known for its spicy aroma and sweetness.

Muscat - Used in various styles, from dry to sweet and still to sparkling, particularly in Alsace.

Sémillon - Often blended with Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux, especially in the sweet wines of Sauternes.

Ugni Blanc - Known internationally as Trebbiano, predominant in Cognac and Armagnac production for distillation.