An expert breaks down the seven top French wine regions.

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Ranking the French Wine Regions

France is currently the second-largest wine-producing country on Earth (after Italy), creating more than six billion bottles, on average, each year. The relatively unprestigious Languedoc-Roussillon pumps out the biggest quantities, mostly for domestic consumption, but map out the regions by reputation and suddenly (and arguably) Bordeaux moves up to No. 1, followed by Burgundy.

Seven Top French Wine Regions by Acres of Vines

  • Languedoc-Roussillon 528,000 Acres
  • Bordeaux 306,000 Acres
  • Rhône Valley 188,700 Acres
  • Loire Valley 158,000 Acres
  • Burgundy 125,000 Acres
  • Champagne 75,000 Acres
  • Alsace 34,000 Acres

French Wine: Bordeaux

Main Varietals:

White Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle

Red Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec

Burgundy

© Theo Morrison

French Wine: Burgundy

Main Varietals:

White Wines: Chardonnay

Red Wines: Pinot Noir, Gamay (in Beaujolais)

Champagne

© Theo Morrison

French Wine: Champagne

Main Varietals:

White Wines: Chardonnay

Red Wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier

The Loire Valley

French Wine: The Loire Valley

Main Varietals:

White Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne

Red Wines: Cabernet Franc, Cot (Malbec)

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Courtesy of Terlato Wines

French Wine: Alsace

Main Varietals:

White Wines: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc

Red Wines: Pinot Noir

Languedoc-Roussillon

© Theo Morrison

French Wine: Languedoc-Roussillon

Main Varietals:

White Wines: Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne

Red Wines: Grenache, Syrah, Carignane, Cinsaut

The Rhône Valley

© Theo Morrison

French Wine: The Rhône Valley

Main Varietals:

White Wines: Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier

Red Wines: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre

Video

 Video: French Wine Regions

French Wine Pairing Tips:

Bacon-and-Leek Quiche
Credit: © Quentin Bacon
Cherry Tomato Tart with Basil
Credit: © Tina Rupp
2009 Château Haut Rian Bordeaux Sec
Credit: Photo © Stephanie Foley