After the last article, in which we talked about Bordeaux wines and their history, today we continue with the topic of French wines to deepen the knowledge a little more. Especially if you are at the first approaches in the world of wine, it can happen to be in front of a shelf (being it physical or virtual) and not knowing exactly what to choose. Today we help you with a list of names of the most popular and loved French wines.
The denominations of origin
First, it is important to review some of the denominations of origin that characterize French wines. The four main ones are:
– AOC Appellation d’Origin Controlèe: controlled designation of origin
– VDQS Vins Delimitè de Qualitè Supèrieure: wines of superior quality
– Vins de Pays: zonal, dèpartemental, regional wines
– VdT Vins de Table: table wines
The names of the most loved French wines and their areas of origin
France is one of the largest wine producers in the world: thanks to their land with a mild climate and limestone soil, many of the regions that make up the nation are the perfect environment for the growth of excellent vineyards. Thus there are many areas that produce AOC wines.
The most famous French wine is undoubtedly Champagne: coming from the region of the same name in the north-east of France, this sparkling wine can be produced with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir grapes. Invented by the abbot Dom Pierre Pérignon, this sparkling white wine is linked in the common imagination to parties and luxury (not surprisingly you can find it in our Party Time Collection), thanks also to the dizzying cost that a good bottle can reach.
The ones coming from Bordeaux are among the most popular and widespread types of wines: better known for its red wines, the region can also boast a fine white wine production. In this case as well they are named after the homonymous region (and provincial capital city) located in the south-west of France. They are characterized by unique organoleptic characteristics, like the typical hay notes.
Bourgogne is the French region that competes for the primacy of wine with Bordeaux, and it is famous above all for the red wines produced with Chardonnay and Pinot Nero grapes and the white with Chardonnay grapes. Compared to the Bordeaux area, the Bourgogne wine region is characterized by small companies with more limited productions. Bourgogne also gives its name to the typical bottle called “Burgundy bottle” (Curious about shapes? Check out our article about red wine glasses shapes!).
The AOC Alsace takes its name from the Alsace region, located in the north of the country, on the border with Germany, and is famous for its sweet wines. An example is our Domaine Barmès Buecher Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Steingrubler 2011.
AOC Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouvelle
The Beaujolais area is part of Bourgogne, but so peculiar that its wines are named separately. The Beaujolais Nouvelle is a famous red wine produced in this area from Gamay grapes.
AOC Côtes du Rhône
Another area with a controlled designation of origin which, as the name suggests, is located in the Rhône region. Here, with vast cultivation of Grenache grape varieties (Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc), special red, white and rosé wines are produced.
Under the controlled designation of origin Sauternes is one of the most famous white wines in the world. Sauternes wines are sweet and passito, created with Muscadelle, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties.
These are just some of the names of the most famous French wines with their origins; as it happens for Italy as well, for example, the production in Franche is so vast and varied that it can boast many, many more.
If these are your first steps in the world of wine, don’t forget the Collection we have prepared for you: My First Natural Wine Box features six bottles selected by our CEO and Wine Expert Ettore Brambilla to start tasting our delicious and delicate natural wines in the very best way!