Today Kelly Kamborian, an American expat, takes us on a tour of Burgundy where she has been living for many years and where she’s a registered tour guide. Burgundy is world-famous for its amazing wines, but it is also at the epicenter of French history and culture. In many ways you cannot understand French history and culture without spending some time in Burgundy as the names that come up are a who’s who of French royalty. Burgundy is also where you can see some of the greatest Abbeys in the world: Clairvaux, Pontigny, Cluny, Cîteaux. Lots to do and see, you really need to visit Burgundy next time you come to France! For recommendations on restaurants, hotels and what to do with children, scroll to the bottom of this post and while you’re there share the episode on social media! To book a tour with Kelly, search for her name on Facebook or kellykamborian at gmail.com. Enjoy the show!
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.
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
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.