The world of wine is vast. Innumerable bottles are produced at countless vineyards all across the globe—but thankfully there’s a system in place to help categorize this output. More specific than country of origin and less overwhelming than appellations, if you are familiar with wine regions, you can understand the general characteristics of a wine. Thanks to their unique geographies and climates, each region is best suited to growing certain grapes. In Bordeaux, France, for example, red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot thrive, while just north in the Loire, the river and warmer climate are better suited for white grapes like Sauvignon Blanc. Our F&W guide to wine regions introduces the classic regions and also spotlights exciting and lesser-known areas that are producing wines that should be on your radar right now.