Wine is undoubtedly one of the major emblems of the French way of life. It has been enjoyed all over the country for over two millennia. The vines shape much of France’s landscape, from north to south. The precious beverage has been a source of inspiration for a number of its writers and painters. French wine is known for its quality and diversity, well beyond the country’s borders. By taking a look at the history and geography of the regions, the guide can help you learn more about the French vineyards and accompanying tourist attractions.

France’s first vineyard was created in 600 B.C. by the Phocaeans in the city of Massalia, which would later become Marseille. The Romans then contributed to the expansion of vine cultivation throughout the country. In the Middle Ages, the Paris region became the largest wine-growing area and helped France become the world’s biggest wine-exporting country. However, red wine only really took off in the 14th century, as the most popular wines before then were whites and rosés.

Today, the many vineyards of France are ideal places to take a leisurely stroll through the regions, taste the flavours of the grand cru wines, and learn about the wine-growers’ skills. With 10 000 châteaux and 117 000 hectares of vines, the Bordeaux wine region sets the standard for the rest of the world: the Burgundy vintages to the south of Dijon, the magnificent white wines of Alsace and the Rhône and Beaujolais appellations are also very well-known; and some wonderful discoveries await you in the vineyards of Jura, Provence and Corsica, not forgetting the hillsides of Cognac and Champagne… You can find an introduction to these vineyards and many others in the panorama about the great vineyards of France, in the guide. With so many vineyards and cellars, one lifetime would probably not be long enough to see all the treasures of France’s wine-making heritage! is a guide specialising in tourism in France, since 2003. Available in 6 languages, the website is visited by over 18 million holidaymakers every year, looking for practical and cultural information or help with planning their next trip.

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