• Pinot Noir
  • Chardonnay
  • Riesling
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Pinot Meunier
  • Syrah
  • Grenache
  • Pinot Gris
  • Malbec
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Mourvedre
  • Gewurztraminer
  • Merlot
  • Petit Verdot



The legacy of the French crown

The wine culture of France is full of contradictions and surprises: take the differences in climate, a wide range of soil types and grape varieties and you’ll end up with wines that can suit every taste. Wines that can be perfectly great and perfectly mediocre. And to master them, you’d need to drink quite a lot!

The French are very proud of their wine and their contribution to the progress of global winemaking. And they have quite a lot to be proud of. But if we look a little bit closer into it, we’ll find out that it was B.C. when the winemaking on the territory of France began – only it was not the French who did it. There were no French at the time. But there were Greeks, and later – Romans. Both of these peoples were no strangers to the bottle, and they showed both heart and a great deal of imagination in their winemaking. And it went so well that by the sixth century A.D. the winemaking traditions spread as far as Champagne, and these blessed lands were soon populated by the ancestors of modern Frenchmen.

france-paris Chateau De Chambord

When the Christian era began, almost all winemaking ended up in the hands of monks, who worked zealously and diligently on the vineyards and in the cellars. We also should hand it to the aristocrats and royals whose tastes and queries have made a great influence on the making of this wonderful drink. Kudos to them all!

The history of French winemaking survived many shocks, changes and attempts to classify the multifarious wine. Even now, France has the most complicated wine classification which also varies from one region to another. This confuses and frightens even the French themselves, to say nothing of the wine lovers all over the world. But considering the boundless diversity in French wines, we can overlook any classification issues.

Pinot noir – the cold-loving, thin-skinned, mischievous Pinot noir that brought fame to Burgundy – rightly bears the crown. And, like with a true royal, few are able to tame it and make it appear in all its glory. But if a winemaker does succeed in making true wine out of Pinot noir – it will be perfection itself. Whether you’re a sceptic or a lover, you will be slain, unable to betray or refuse it. Burgundy also has a reputation for its white wines from the Chardonnay grape – the diverse Montrachet, Meursault and Chablis.

Not far from Paris lies the famous Champagne region where Pinot noir also plays a key role along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Just imagine how many hearts would have been broken (or alternatively, would have remained tragically untouched) if the cork hadn’t went pop and the bubbles hadn’t looked so enticing! And what about the yachts on the stocks? The racers on the pedestal? Or the extravagant parties?.. No celebration is right without champagne, or all the fun remains dry…

burgundy Notre Dame De Reims

To the east of Champagne we’ll find wonderful Rieslings and Pinot gris, ranging from dry to dessert. The namesake grape varieties are picked on the picturesque slopes of Alsace which is a one-of-the-kind region. Speaking from the point of political geography, France and Germany have spent centuries playing tug-of-war and rewriting borders here. As a result, after passing back and forth between two lands, the traditions, ethnic cuisine and the traits of the local wines have mixed over in this region.

Let’s also hand it to the arrogant high-status region of Bordeaux that is often featured in the movies and books: the protagonist asks for a bottle of 1961 Château Lafite and that speaks of his refined taste and high status… or should speak – as the Bordeaux wine has long been overrated and now often becomes the subject of speculation and fraud. But quite close, on the shores of Gironde, in the mist and dampness the noble rot develops on the grapes so that later they can dry under the sun and give us the exquisite taste of the varieties Sauternes and Barsac.

And, of course, we cannot forget the wines made on the shores of the great French rivers – Rhône and Loire. If the former is primarily known for its red wines, then the poetic Loire pleases us with its delicate whites.

The French wine has style and mystery. Schemes of the Court, love stories, brief handgrips and bloody duels, the clank of swords and clinking of glasses, the glimmer of the diamond pendants and creaking of a worn saddle, the balls of the Sun King and the cinders of Waterloo – all of it, smelted in the giant tank with grape juice to besot and blow us all away…

Centuries pass and everything changes. There are new domains, new wines, new style. His majesty Marketing is trampling its heavy paws over the vineyards – no longer a king, but a senior executive and a supervisor. But luckily for us, some winemakers remain loyal to the wonderful traditions. And France still remains the main stronghold of True Wine.



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