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France Key Facts

Climate Mediterranean (Languedoc), Maritime (Bordeaux),


Continental (Burgundy)

Weather Variable weather giving annual vintage variations. Exception: South of France
(Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon)
Variable
Soils Limestone (most of Burgundy), Granit (Beaujolais, north Rhone),
Gravel (Medoc, Haut Medoc)
Black: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot,
Grape Pinot Noir, Gamay, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre.
Varieties White: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Muscadelle, Pinot Blanc,
Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Muscadet, Viognier.
Viticulture Low yields for quality wines, best vineyards on higher hillside locations.
High yields for table wine production
Traditional fermentation; Modern fermentation with temperature control.
Vinification Carbonic Maceration
Maturation in vat or in used or new oak barriques (for better quality wines).

Key Regions • Champagne


and key
wines • Alsace

• Loire: Nantais; Anjou-Saumur; Touraine; Central Vineyards; VDP de la


Jardin de la France

• Bordeaux: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Sauternes, Barsac, St.


Emilion, Pomerol, Cotes de Bourg, Premiéres Cotes de Blaye, Fronsac, Entre-Deux-
Mers, Premiere Cotes de Bordeaux.

• South West: Bergerac, Monbazillac, Cotes de Duras, Buzet, Cahors, Madiran,


Vin de Pays de Cotes de Gascone.

• Burgundy: Chablis; Cotes du Nuits; Cote de Beune; Cote Chalonnaise;


Maconnais, Beaujolais

• Rhone: North (Cote-Rotie, Condrieu, St. Joseph, Cornas, Hermitage, Crozes-


Hermitage) ; South (Cotes du Rhone, Cote du Rhone Villages, Vacqueyras,
Gigondas, Chateuneuf-du-Pape, Lirac, Tavel, Costieres de Nimes.

• South: Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon

Appellation (d’ Origine) Controlée (AC) wines whose geographical origins,


Label varietal make-up, and production methods are precisely regulated-generally the
Terminology best and the most traditional.
Vin de Pays ‘country wine’, often from areas larger than AC zones, non traditional
varieties and higher yields are allowed.
Chateau wine estate or even farm, typically in Bordeaux
Coteaux de, Cotes de typically hillsides
Cru literally ‘growth’, a specified superior plot of land
Cru classé cru that has been selected by an important classification such as the
1855 in Bordeaux
Grand cru ‘great growth’; in Burgundy, the finest vineyards; in St. Emilion,
nothing special.
Supérieur usually just slightly higher in alcohol
Villages suffix denoting selected communes within appellation