French Wine Regions and Loire Valley Wines, Episode 28

French Wine Regions and AOC

French Wine Regions

Today on Join Us in France we talk about French wine regions and give you some background information on each of them. We’re not sommeliers or oenologues, we’re just a couple of women who enjoy wine and have had a chance to try lots of different ones. We have our favorites and we’re sure you do too! Listen to the show right now or subscribe below so you never miss an episode.

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Episode Highlights

  • Brief history of the production of wine in France
  • Some (rare) parts of France do not produce any wine
  • There are 3240 different types of wines in France
  • Quality control for French wine regions
  • How to read labels in France
  • The meaning of the term AOC: Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée
  • Overview of major French wine regions
  • Alsace: Riesling (white), Gewurztraminer (white), Tokay (red)
  • Bordeaux: very large production numbers, goes from exquisite to terrible.
  • Beaujolais: young wines, Beaujolais nouveau is a big deal, but it’s not our favorite.
  • Burgundy: very large and wonderful wines.
  • Bugey: white, not as famous as most of the other AOC wines.
  • Champagne: major wine-growing region.
  • Corsican: large French island in the Mediterranean, makes very distinctive wines.
  • Juras: mountainous region in the Alps, Besançon is the major city there. The produce a “yellow wine”, mostly sweet.
  • Languedoc: used to produce low-quality wines and have since cleaned up their act, they now make some great ones. It includes Minervois and Corbières. This is a very large area called Languedoc-Roussillon.
  • Loraine: small region that produces mostly white wines.
  • Valley de la Loire: the Loire River is a large river that crosses France east to west.
  • Provence: the best rosés produced anywhere are from Provence, but they also produce some red and white. Bandol wines have their own AOC.
  • Vallée du Rhône: the Rhône is a large river that runs north to south. This is where you’ll find Côte du Rhône in the south, Beaujolais a little more to the north, and to the north of the Rhône area, Burgundy. These are three different OAC groups in the same region.
  • Savoie: somewhat similar to the wines found in the Juras and Bugey. This region produces white wines that go very well with Cheese Fondue and Raclette, famous dishes of the area. Those are hardy, winter dishes. The wines are fruity and somewhat sweet.
  • South-Western: includes wines that are not exported very much, Cahors, Madiran, Jurançon, Gaillac, Fronton.
  • Wine distribution channels in France
  • Driving around to taste wine in France
  • Focus on the Loire Valley
  • Muscadet
  • Anjou
  • Vouvray (white)
  • Chinon (white)
  • Bourgeuil AOC (red)
  • Cheverny AOC (red)
  • Sancerre
  • Pouilly fumé

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10 thoughts on “French Wine Regions and Loire Valley Wines, Episode 28”

  1. Yay!!! Another new podcast/post to listen to while doing my daily walk!! I also listen to your older posts and enjoy them just as much. People see me smiling and laughing to your podcasts as I am walking.

  2. Bonjour again. I too am long winded! Love your talks.
    It is hard to find free wine tasting in the well known wine areas of California these days (Napa, some of Sonoma). I was pricing how much wine tasting is in that area on the internet. One site said that it could be between $10-40!! Also on the internet, Jancis Robinson listed around 50 independent French wine importers in the US. Thank goodness there is Kermit Lynch importing good French small wine growers’ wines.

    Annie, I yelled “NO!” (in public listening to the podcast) at the same time Elyse did when you said that Muscadet was sweet!!! One of the best wines to go with raw oysters. haha What is that sweet white wine from your area you both referred to after??

    When talking about some areas without a white wine – then there is the dry white minerally Chablis…part of Burgundy – sort of.

    1. Hello Sharon,

      Yes, I probably deserved to get yelled at twice 😉
      I can’t imagine you’d pay that much for wine tasting in France unless you’re tasting a bottle over 100€.
      Thank you for letting us know about the small grower’s importer, I had no idea, that’s really good to know!
      Muscat is the very flavorful, very sweet white. We also find Muscat grapes in France and they are dark, very sweet and flavorful too, I love them for dessert. And then, there’s this thing called Muscador that my mother used to buy sometimes. Cheap rosé sweet bubbly, not a classy wine, but easier to drink than a dry Champagne at 50€ as far as she was concerned.

      Have a great week-end!

    1. Hello Beverly and welcome to Join Us in France! We’re not wine experts, we just talked about wine regions and our personal taste. Did you have a chance to try the wines the article mentions such as Morgon Lapierre? I’ll be looking for a bottle, I’m curious now 🙂

      1. Hi Annie, I recently tried one of the wines mentioned in the NY Times article – the Michel Tête Juliénas. Delicious.

  3. Hi Annie!!! I noticed that from the NYTimes article that of the wines suggested, four out of the ten wines were imported from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif.

    Looking forward to your next episode any day now!

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