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Wines from France

French wine is the ultimate example of quality production, which has inspired many countries worldwide. The grapes that are used and exported all over the world, such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot and Sauvignon, the combination of territorial characteristics referred to as territoire, and the age-old winemaking tradition are the secrets of its success. The French, in addition to producing simple, inexpensive and highly drinkable wines, boast some of the world's most famous expressions, from the great reds of Bordeaux and Burgundy to botrytized wines such as Sauternes, and from the white wines of the Loire Valley to the famous and luxurious Champagne. These are highly sought-after and prestigious wines, which offer unforgettably unique emotions.

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French wine is the ultimate example of quality production, which has inspired many countries worldwide. The grapes that are used and exported all over the world, such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot and Sauvignon, the combination of territorial characteristics referred to as territoire, and the age-old winemaking tradition are the secrets of its success. The French, in addition to producing simple, inexpensive and highly drinkable wines, boast some of the world's most famous expressions, from the great reds of Bordeaux and Burgundy to botrytized wines such as Sauternes, and from the white wines of the Loire Valley to the famous and luxurious Champagne. These are highly sought-after and prestigious wines, which offer unforgettably unique emotions.

The Wines of France

France is one of the most important centres of wine today, boasting important records related to the production of wines. It excels not only in terms of quantity and quality but also in the enhancement of typicality, in agronomic and enological innovation, and in the development of pioneering concepts ranging from that of the cru, which applies to vineyards, villages and the most suitable soils, to that of the terroir, which defines the overall physical, climatic and cultural characteristics of a given production area.

Words such as Champagne, Sancerre, Sauternes, Bordeaux, Chablis, Corton, Montrachet, Chateauneuf du Pape and many others have become legendary for wine lovers all over the world. They evoke great emotions, magnificent memories, priceless experiences and unforgettable sensations. And then there are also the grape varieties whose names have remained inseparably linked to their pronunciation throughout the world, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The classification of wines in France is based on qualitative distinctions that can be summarised in a pyramidal structure. At the top are the types with the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), which is equivalent to the Italian DOC and DOCG. These include Bordeaux, where the traditional Bordeaux blend was born and where aristocratic red French wines are produced; Burgundy, where prestigious reds and whites are made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes; Champagne, which is the world's sparkling wine capital; Alsace, which is famous for its white wines that are renowned throughout the world for their unmistakable flavour; the Loire, where Sauvignon is produced; the Languedoc, which is now undergoing a vibrant wine-growing renaissance based on quality and finally, Provence and the Rhône Valley, where rich and generous wines are produced.

From its 26 centuries of winemaking history, this nation has developed an extraordinary winemaking culture, from which great red, white, passito and fortified wines are born and continue to emerge, becoming indisputable points of reference throughout the world.


The History and Enological Culture of the Territory

The history of French wine is one of the oldest in the world. The first evidence of vines comes from the Greeks, who were probably the ones to spread it in the territory, when they founded Massalia, which is present-day Marseille, in 600 BC. Although the vine was already present in Europe, it was only with the arrival of the Romans that viticulture and the production of fermented products became particularly developed. The Romans introduced their own traditions wherever they went, importing the old winemaking practices used in Italy into Gaul and starting to produce the first quality wines. Pliny the Elder describes how the city of Vienne in the Rhone Valley was one of the most famous areas at the time for the production of a very expensive 'resinated' nectar. Shortly afterwards, the Romans founded the city of Narbo, also located on the Rhone River, which was famous for its specialities that were particularly appreciated by the great writers of the time. The real commercial history began with the city of Burdigala, the present-day Bordeaux. Thanks to its location near the ocean, it soon became a commercial force and a major exporter. The centuries of the Roman Empire also saw the development of other famous wine regions such as Burgundy, Alsace, Loire and many others, which identified themselves with their production. An example of this is French Champagne, whose famous sparkling wine has now become an unforgettable feature of wine history.

In the Middle Ages, the monks were fundamental in the coming centuries. Secluded in their abbeys they preserved and perfected the old Roman traditions of wine production. The 17th century was fundamental for the history of French wine. Dom Perignon, a monk from the abbey of Hautviellers, was born. He dedicated himself to wine-growing and developed a sparkling wine, the famous Champagne, following an in-depth study of the ripeness of the grapes. The following centuries saw the rise of commercial trade. Cities with access to the sea, such as Bordeaux and the Loire, grew even stronger, becoming true commercial centres. The 18th century witnessed great inventions, the year of the Enlightenment and the birth of enology through the work of the chemist Lavoisier, who studied the chemistry of alcohol. With the French Revolution, the vineyards belonging to the Church were nationalised and distributed to the people. A century later, French wines were famous throughout the world, as the studies focused on quality production bore fruit. Writers of the time, such as Baudelaire, expressed their passion for this drink in their publications. At the end of the 19th century, the phylloxera epidemic broke out, destroying all the crops in Europe within a few years. However, wine production was spared thanks to the importation of American vines, which were resistant to the parasite and on which European vines were grafted. It was only at the end of the Second World War that high quality production resumed, as a result of the concept of "terroir" and economic growth, and which to this day is still among the most sought-after and imitated excellences in the world.

Accompanying important occasions with a French bottle of wine is easy and affordable with Callmewine. Visit our online store to purchase the best bottles for sale online at particularly competitive prices from our numerous offers.

Callmewine is an online wine shop specializing in the sale of wine, champagne and spirits.

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