Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
French Wine Regions – Exploring the Wine Map of France
Many people coming to France want to enjoy the beauty, quality, and once-in-a-lifetime experience of touring the best French wine regions.
If you are looking at a France wine map and wondering what region to go to, we can help. This quick guide to the Best Wine Regions in France, map included, will give you everything you need to know in order to plan your trip around one of the most famous French drinks.
In this guide, there’s a list of the best wine regions to visit in France, with a brief description of each one, and we have suggested the best wine tours as well as self-drive itineraries.
TIP: Want to ensure your wine makes it home? Check our wine tote bags and wine suitcases quick guide
Wine Regions in France Map
You can find good French wine production in almost every region of France (although the North coast doesn’t have as favorable conditions as the rest of the country).
Most people associate wine in France with the famous French wine regions of Champagne, Bordeaux, and even Burgundy, and these are considered some of the best wines in the world. However, there are so many other amazing wine areas in France that shouldn’t be overlooked during your wine travel.
On this Best Wine Regions in France Map, you can see just how many options you have to explore, taste, and experience good French wine. The best wine regions France has to offer are the following:
- Loire Valley
- Côtes du Rhône
- Languedoc – Roussillon
1. Wine of Bordeaux
The Bordeaux Wine Region is not only one of the most famous French wine regions but is also one of the largest. Located in South West France, the fact that it’s located right along the sea gives the wine unique mineral qualities but also a direct advantage in shipping to other destinations. The wine of Bordeaux is so good that many estates get to sell it as a ‘Grand Cru’ (one of the highest wine standards one can achieve).
There are actually several wine regions in Bordeaux aside from the town of Bordeaux itself, all offering excellent selections. Popular subregions of the Bordeaux wine region to visit are the Route des Châteaux du Médoc (on the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary), Saint-Émilion (in the Libournais district of Bordeaux), and Graves (on the Left Bank of the Garonne River).
The wine of Bordeaux is often dominated by reds and blends. You can typically expect to find high prices here, but you’ll be rewarded with high-quality wine for the price.
Best Bordeaux Wine Tour: Médoc Wine Region
If you want to experience several vineyards, consider doing this afternoon wine-tasting tour starting from Bordeaux. You’ll visit two separate Bordeaux châteaux, have 4 Bordeaux wine tastings, learn about the local wines, and see the stunning scenery of the Médoc wine region – Book this half-day tour to the Médoc Wine Region.
Other Wine Tours in the Bordeaux Wine Region
If you prefer to explore the Bordeaux Wine Region on a self-guided tour, pick the wineries that appeal to you most from this list.
2. Wine of Burgundy
The Burgundy Wine Region is, in our opinion, the best wine region in France. It is found near Eastern-Central France and, like many of the other wine regions in France, is comprised of several sub-regions and towns. The Wine Region of Burgundy includes famous sub-regions such as Châblis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais.
If you like the idea of road-tripping in France, consider this Route des Grands Crus road trip from Beaune to Dijon or vice-versa. The Route des Grands Crus in Burgundy is one of the most famous wine trails in France.
The wine of Burgundy is extremely complex and, therefore, often very expensive. Luckily, you can also find very affordable, quality wines here as well. The region of Burgundy has some excellent French white wines (made from chardonnay), French red wines (made from pinot noir), and some great sparkling wines and rosés as well.
Best Burgundy Wine Tour: Côte De Nuits Wine Region
If you are looking for wine tours in Burgundy, consider this half-day tour in the Côte de Nuits region, starting from Dijon. Explore various stunning vineyard towns along the way, visit the medieval Château du Clos de Vougeot, enjoy a stroll through the vineyards, and sample a selection of red and white wines, including the region’s celebrated pinot noirs – Book this half-day tour in Côte de Nuits from Dijon
Other Wine Tours in the Burgundy Wine Region
- From Beaune: Côte de Beaune bike tour with lunch and tastings
- Châblis and Northern Burgundy full-day wine tour
- Full-day private tour in Côte de Beaune
If you prefer to explore one of the best wine regions in France on a self-guided tour, pick the wineries that appeal to you most from this list.
3. Wine of Provence
If you are heading to the Mediterranean coast in France, then consider touring the Provence Wine Region, located only a few kilometers Northwest of Nice. While a lesser-known and not as popular as other wine regions in France, the area of Provence is simply stunning, and you can find some fantastic wines here, like so much of France.
There are nine wine regions in Provence, with distinct characteristics that affect the grapes and wines made in them: Côtes de Provence, Coteaux-d’Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux-Varois-en-Provence, Les-Baux-de-Provence, Cassis, Bandol, Palette, Bellet, and Coteaux-de-Pierrevert.
Due to the warm climate and proximity to the sea, these South of France vineyards have a wide range of excellent grapes that are often full-bodied and absolutely perfect table wine options!
You can find red wines like syrah, cabernet sauvignon, and cinsaut here, as well as whites like ugni blanc, sémillon, clairette and some absolutely fantastic rosés.
Provence is dotted with vineyards and wine shops all over, many of which offer their wine-tasting experiences.
Best Provence Wine Tour: Côtes de Provence – St. Victoire Winemaking Region
This half-day tour from Aix-en-Provence (morning or afternoon) with transportation explores the Côtes de Provence-St Victoire winemaking region. Visit the landscapes that inspired Cézanne, learn about the unique soil and climate of the Provencal landscape, and sample exquisite wines in two traditional wineries – Book this half-day tour Côtes de Provence – St. Victoire
Other Wine Tours in the Provence Wine Region
- From Marseille: full-day tour through the vineyards of Bandol and Cassis
- From Aix-en-Provence: half-day wine tour in Bandol and Cassis
If you prefer to explore one of the Southern France wine regions in Provence on a self-guided tour, pick the wineries that appeal to you most from this list.
4. Wine of Loire Valley
Another major producer and one of the largest wine regions of France is the Loire Valley, where you can find some of the best wines in France. The Loire Valley Wine Region is divided into five sub-regions and 58 AOC: Pays Nantais, Anjou-Saumur, Touraine, Centre, and Auvergne.
If you are looking for lighter wines, these French vineyards are right up your alley. There are great selections of lighter red wines, delicate, fruity white wines, sweet rosés, and a large production of sparkling wines.
If you are based in the French capital and looking to experience the wine culture of France, consider a Loire Valley wine tour from Paris, or just visit one of the many wineries in Loire Valley yourself on a self-guided wine tour. Being so close to Paris, the Loire Valley is a fantastic day trip from Paris or a weekend getaway from Paris option.
Wine Tours in the Loire Valley Wine Region
- From Tours: Loire Valley wine tour in Vouvray and Montlouis
- From Paris: Chambord Castle and Loire Valley wines
If you prefer to explore this extended area of the wine map of France on a self-guided tour, pick the wineries that appeal to you most from this list.
5. Côtes du Rhône Wine
Another best wine region France has to offer is found in the Rhône Valley, in Southeastern France, scattered around the meandering Rhône River. From Vienne to the Luberon, this major export region of France is so large it is split into the “‘Northern Rhone“‘ and the “‘Southern Rhone” areas.
The wines of the Rhône Valley, also known as Côtes du Rhône Wine, are often some of the most expensive wines you can buy. Heading South, white wines are the prominent grape, such as grenache blanc, marsanne, roussanne, and viognier. However, don’t skimp on the red wines, such as the syrah and wonderful blends.
Best Côtes du Rhône Wine Tour: Half-day Tour around Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This full-day French wine tasting and tour (lunch included) starting from Avignon takes you around Châteauneuf du Pape, visiting four of the main appellations of Côte du Rhône: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas/Vacqueyras, Séguret. The tour includes a delicious lunch at a restaurant in Châteaneuf-du-Pape – Book this day tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Other Wine Tours in the Rhône Valley
If you prefer to explore one of the loveliest areas on the France wine map on a self-guided tour, pick the wineries that appeal to you most from this list.
6. Wines of Languedoc–Roussillon
The Languedoc–Roussillon Wine Region, while not as famous (by name alone) as some of the other best wine regions in France to visit, is actually one of the largest wine-producing regions in France by vineyard surface area and produces massive amounts of wine annually.
These South of France vineyards are often known as some of the best wines at really affordable prices and include merlot, cabernet, and syrah. There are plenty of quality whites as well, such as sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, grenache, and muscat blanc.
7. Wine of Alsace
The Alsace Wine Region is another beautiful area to explore. Being so close to Germany, the region of Alsace shares many characteristics with its Eastern neighbor, from its latticed buildings to its wine production techniques.
This is one of the best wine regions to visit in France because it combines history, culture, and delicious wines. The wines of Alsace are often dry white wines, sparkling sweet varieties, and rosés. You can find delicious rieslings, gewürztraminers, and pinot gris. The land and climate primarily lend themselves to white wines, but you can still find some sweeter reds as well as roses in Alsace as well.
The best way to explore it is by following the Alsace Wine Route, a fun road trip itinerary that combines fairytale Alsace villages and great food and wine. There are also many half-day or day wine tours with departures from Strasbourg and Colmar.
The Best Alsace Wine Tour: Half-Day Wine Tour from Colmar
If you are looking for wine tastings in Alsace, this tour starts in the gorgeous town of Colmar and journeys along the Alsace Wine Route. Your wine tasting in Alsace tour will have you completely enchanted with this part of France. You’ll be educated on a plethora of Alsace wines to round out your wine tasting in Alsace – Book this half-day Alsace wine tour from Colmar
Other Wine Tours in the Alsace Wine Region
- In Hunawihr: Introduction to the Alsace Wines
- From Strasbourg: Alsace Wine Route half-day wine tour
- From Colmar: Alsace Wine Route full-day wine tour
If you prefer to visit one of the coolest wine regions in France on a self-guided tour, pick the wineries that appeal to you most from this list.
8. Champagne Wine Region
The Champagne Wine Region just might be one of the most famous on the French wine regions map, if not even the world. While many vineyards in the world produce sparkling wine, it can only be labeled as ‘champagne wine‘ if it was produced in the historical Champagne region.
The Champagne region is located in the North East section of France, not far from Belgium and Luxembourg. It is one of the best French wine regions to visit near Paris, with some of the best wineries in France.
While the most famous wine of Champagne is champagne itself, you can actually also find pinot noir and chardonnay in the Champagne region as well. Due to the climate, you can expect lighter, dryer, and crisper wines than the sweeter varieties found elsewhere in France.
Best Champagne Wine Tour: Small-Group Moët & Chandon Champagne Tour
Champagne and opulence often go hand in hand, which is exactly what you’ll get on this full-day tour starting in Paris. From abbeys to châteaux to boutique vineyards, you’ll have a luxury champagne wine tour at a prestigious champagne house such as Moët & Chandon or Mercier, complete with champagne tastings – Book this full-day champagne tour from Paris
Other Wine Tours in the Champagne Wine Region
- From Reims: half-day champagne tour with Taittinger and family winery
- From Epernay: half-day champagne tour with tastings and lunch
- 3 days in Champagne: cellars, tastings, winemakers, and heritage
- From Epernay: e-bike day trip with family-run winery and lunch
If you prefer to visit one of the best French wine regions to visit near Paris on a self-guided tour, here’s the list of the best champagne houses in Reims, and here are the best champagne houses in Epernay.
And there you have it, our quick guide to the best wine regions in France to visit and the best wine tours for each one.
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