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France:  The major wine producing regions

The country of France has many wine producing regions. The most famous and important include:

 

Alsace

Bordeaux

Burgundy

Champagne

Loire

Rhone

Loire: The Loire river is the longest in France.  In the length of its valley are produced some of the finest white wines made anywhere in France.  Near the coast, Chenin Blanc is the preferred grape and Vouvray is the wine produced.   Further up the river, Sauvignon Blanc is the grape of choice with Sancerre and Pouilly Fume as the wines that are produced.  Rose d'Anjou is a popular semi-dry rose that is also made in the Loire Valley.

Rhone:  The Rhone river valley in southeastern France is a grape growing and wine producing area famed for its red wines.  The region is just under 150 miles long (north to south) and lies between the cities of Lyon in the north and Avignon in the south.  There are 16 specific appellations that cover an area of more than 41,000 hectares.  All qualities of wine are produced here from Appellation Controllee to Vin de Table. Production is 2% white, the rest being red and rose. Wines from the Rhone can achieve outstanding quality. There has been opportunity to achieve greater value in the purchase of many Rhone wines versus those of Bordeaux or Burgundy.

Some of the vineyards here are very rocky.  Chateauneuf du Pape and Cotes du Rhone (means 'Slopes of the Rhone') are the two best known wines to come from this region.  A wide variety of grapes are grown and blended in this region but the two most commonly used are Syrah and Grenache.

 

 

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