While France is not the country where winemaking began, few people would argue that the international home of fine wine is anywhere else. No other country has wine so ingrained into its culture and everyday life as French Wine, which is still the global benchmark across most of the famous grape varieties. And of all imported wine that comes into Australia, including the many great Italian Wines, no one does it better than France.
France has a treasure trove of vineyard regions, with their own unique weather and geography. From the cool vineyards of Champagne in Northern France that create delicate, fine and detailed sparkling through to the vineyards close to the Mediterranean with their big, bold and ripe flavours, France has a wine for everybody, and overall has an edge over other imported wine nations.
Take the Rhone Valley for example, which stretches down the Eastern half of France. In the Northern Rhone, Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne make some of the best dry red and white wines in the world from iconic regions such as Hermitage. Travel further South and it is Grenache that takes the reins in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Of all the great French regions, such as Champagne and Burgundy, it is Bordeaux that takes the mantle as not only France’s but the world’s most impressive fine wine region. Nowhere else produces significant volumes of exceptional white, red and sweet wines in the same region, some of which sell on release for over $2000 per bottle, and many of which cellar well for decades.
The red blends made from predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have even encouraged many imitators with Cabernet Sauvignon now the most widely planted premium wine in the world.
And the same can be said of about Burgundy - the ultra-premium region which crafts some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world. In addition, has also bread legions of imitators around the world, all doing their very best to make wines that come close to the best of Burgundy, and France as a whole.