French wines have long had a reputation as second to none the world over. Whether it’s a glass of Bordeaux, Champagne, pinot noir or Sancerre, French grape varieties and wine styles have set the standard internationally for the very best that wine can offer.
TEXT: EDDI FIEGEL
Historians believe it was the Etruscans of central Italy who originally brought wine to France, having learnt the technique from the Phoenicians in what is now modern day Lebanon. The French quickly began planting their own vineyards and wine was probably used as both a medicinal agent to treat ailments and aches and pains, as well as forming a part of religious ceremonies due to its mind-altering properties.
Over the centuries, the tradition spread across France as wine-growers perfected their art and, with its vast variety of climates, terroirs and grape varieties, the industry grew and grew.
France is now the world’s largest wine exporting country and over the following pages we’ll be looking at some of its most fascinating and forward thinking wineries and winemakers. À votre santé!