Wine Tasting - Everything you Need to Know About Wine

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Many wine connoisseurs feel that French wines are among the best in the world. The wine regions in France offer a wide array of excellent wines. Each of the wine regions has distinct characteristics in the type of grapes grown, with the soil and climate contributing to the characteristics of individual wines.

French vineyards offer some of the most famous wines, which are enjoyed by wine lovers around the world.

Alsace

Alsace is located in the northeast part of France, between the Rhine and Vosges Rivers. Alsace is the smallest wine region in France, and the grapes that grow in Alsace are grown nowhere else.

The wines produced in this French wine region are dry and sweet white wines. The wines from Alsace include:

  • Cremant d”Alsace
  • Gewurtztraminer
  • Pinot Blanc
  • Riesling
  • Sylvaner
  • Tokay Pinot Gris.

The soil in Alsace ranges from sand to clay. The climate in the region consists of hot summers and cold winters, which gives these wines their distinctive characteristics.

Bordeaux

The Bordeaux wine region is located in the southwest area of France, near the Atlantic Ocean. Bordeaux is considered to be the most important French wine region and actually accounts for one third of French wine production.

The Bordeaux area produces both sweet and dry white wines and full-body and medium-body red wines. The grapes grown in Bordeaux include:

  • Cabernet-Franc
  • Cabernet-Sauvignon
  • Sauvignon
  • Semillion.

The Bordeaux region features mild, short winters, hot summers and a high degree of humidity due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

Burgundy

The Burgundy wine region begins just south of Paris and continues down to Lyon. The wines produced in this region include both red and white wines. The red are known for being subtle and velvety, while the white are characterized by being sensual. The grapes in this region include:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir.

Burgundy has a wide range of soils, so the area is divided into districts. These districts are:

  • Beaujolais
  • Chablis
  • Cote Chalonnaise
  • Cote d”Or
  • Maconnais.

The weather consists of cold winters and hot summers, which produce excellent wines.

Champagne

Champagne is one of the most well-known wines in the world, both sparkling and festive. The Champagne region is in the northeast region of France, which is east of Paris and west of Alsace.

The types of grapes grown in the Champagne region include:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Meunier
  • Pinot Noir.

The weather in the Champagne region is unique. It offers cool winters and sunny summers. The soil is chalky, which produces high-quality sparkling wines.

Cotes du Rhone

This wine region is known for being incredibly diverse. The Cotes du Rhone is in the Rhone Valley, which is south of Lyon and stretches to the Mediterranean Sea.

The wines from Cotes du Rhone range from full-body red wines to fruity red wines to full-body dry white wines. The grapes grown here include:

  • Clairette
  • Grenache.

The weather in the Cotes du Rhone region consists of cold winters and warm summers in the northern part of the region and mild winters and hot summers in the southern part of the region. The soil in this area is very stony and contains a lot of granite.

Languedoc-Rousillon

The Languedoc-Rousillon region is located on the Mediterranean Sea from the Rhone River to the Pyrenees. This region is one of the largest wine regions in France.

The Languedoc-Rousillon region produces a wide range of mostly red wines. The grapes grown in this region include:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Carignan
  • Cinsault
  • Grenache
  • Merlot
  • Mourvedre.

This area has Mediterranean weather, which includes mild winters and hot summers. The soil in the region contains limestone and sandstone and even some granite.

Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is thought to be one of the most beautiful regions of France. Located in the west central part of France, it produces some of the most famous white wines. However, it also produces some red wines, as well. The grapes in this area include:

  • Chenin Blanc
  • Sauvignon.

The western part of the region has mild winters and summers, while the eastern part has cold winters and warm summers. The soil in the Loire Valley varies, from clay to limestone to chalky soils.

Provence

Provence covers the area of the Cote d”Azur, from Aix en Provence to Nice and the Alps. This area is known for rose wines. The grapes grown in the Provence region include:

  • Carignan
  • Cinsault
  • Clairette
  • Grenache
  • Grenache Blanc
  • Mourvedre
  • Rolle
  • Syrah
  • Ugni Blanc.

The weather in Provence has mild winters and hot summers. The soil consists of limestone and siliceous soils, with some sandy areas.

 Posted on : May 16, 2014