French wine regionsA country which produces the highest amount of wine, where wine is more splendid than anywhere else in the world and where wine is steadfastly anchored in the country's culture. According to sources, in 600 BC, Greeks from Asia Minor brought grapes to a colony they set up and named Massalia, later called Massilia (today known as Marseiille).

Contrary to common opinion, France does not hold a monopoly for high class wines, however at the same time it is favoured by geographical conditions which allow to produce wines in a broad variety of styles while maintaining the ideal balance between sweetness and sourness.

French wines are divided according to the following classification:

  • AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, appellation controlée which translates as controlled designation of origin) – guarantees that wine originates from an area of precisely defined borders; ca. 35% of French wines are classified as AOC.
  • VDQS (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieur) – this class encompasses ca. 1% wines
  • Vin de Pays (regional wines)
  • Vin de Table (table wines) – this class encompasses ca. 35% wines

 

The main varieties grown in France are:

  • white: Chardonnay, Carignan, Ugni Blanc (a white variety which serves as the basis for brandy production)
  • red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache


It is worth noting that a measurement unit of wine transportation (among others) originates from Bordeaux - first it was a big wooden barrel called tonneau which could carry 252 old gallons ie. 900 litres. Presently, the Bordeaux barrique is 225 litres, which is 1/4 of tonneau, is the most frequently used barrel mainly for wine ageing. 





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