Visiting France is dreamy in itself, but here’s how you can take your trip up a notch.
The country is home to some of the most famous wine regions in the world, and there are many wine trails you can follow throughout the country. Here are our favourite ones :
1. Bordeaux Wine Trail
This trail is located in the southwest of France and is one of the most famous wine regions in the world. The Bordeaux Wine Trail takes you through the Médoc, Saint-Émilion, and Graves regions, where you can taste some of the best red wines in the world.
The Bordeaux Wine Trail is known for its red wines, particularly the Cabernet Sauvignon blends from the Médoc region. Bordeaux red wines are typically full-bodied, complex, and age-worthy, with flavors of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco. The wines from the Saint-Émilion region are known for their richness and elegance, with Merlot as the dominant grape variety. The Graves region produces both red and white wines, with the red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and the white wines made from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
In addition to the excellent wines, the Bordeaux region is also known for its beautiful chateaux and vineyards, many of which are open to the public for tours and tastings. The city of Bordeaux itself is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a rich cultural and culinary heritage that makes it a popular destination for wine enthusiasts from around the world.
2. Champagne Wine Trail
The Champagne region is located in northeast France and is known for its sparkling wines. The Champagne Wine Trail takes you through the vineyards and cellars of the famous Champagne houses like Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.
The Champagne Wine Trail is known for its sparkling wines, which are produced exclusively in the Champagne region of France. Champagne is made using a specific method called "Méthode Champenoise," which involves a secondary fermentation process in the bottle that creates the bubbles.
Champagne is known for its delicate bubbles, crisp acidity, and complex flavors, which can range from citrus and green apple to brioche and toast.
In addition to tasting the wines, visitors to the Champagne region can also tour the vineyards and cellars of the Champagne houses, where they can learn about the history and production of Champagne. The region is also known for its beautiful countryside and historic towns, making it a popular destination for wine and culture lovers alike.
3. Burgundy Wine Trail
Burgundy is located in east-central France and is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.
The vineyards stretch over a narrow strip of land that runs from Dijon in the north to Macon in the south. The best-known red wine regions in Burgundy are the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, which are home to some of the most expensive wines in the world. The best-known white wine regions in Burgundy are Chablis and the Côte de Beaune, which are home to some of the world's most sought-after white wines.
In addition to the excellent wines, Burgundy is known for its beautiful countryside, historic towns, and rich culinary heritage. Visitors to the region can explore the vineyards and cellars of the region's many wineries, as well as enjoy the local cuisine, which features dishes like coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, and escargots.
4. Loire Valley Wine Trail
The Loire Valley is located in central France and is known for its white wines. The Loire Valley Wine Trail takes you through the vineyards of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, and Muscadet, where you can taste some of the best white wines in the world.
The Loire Valley Wine Trail is known for its diverse range of wines, including both red and white wines, still and sparkling wines, and dry and sweet wines.
The Muscadet region is particularly famous for its dry, acidic wines, which pair well with seafood and shellfish.
The Chinon and Bourgueil regions are particularly known for their red wines. The Loire Valley is also known for its sparkling wines, particularly from the Saumur and Vouvray regions. These wines are made using the traditional method, which involves a secondary fermentation in the bottle.
5. Alsace Wine Trail
Alsace is located in northeastern France, along the border of Germany, and is known for its dry white wines. The Alsace Wine Trail takes you through the vineyards of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris, where you can taste some of the most aromatic white wines in the world.
Riesling is the most widely planted grape variety and produces wines that are crisp, refreshing, and mineral-driven, with flavors of citrus and stone fruit. Gewürztraminer is known for its floral and spicy aromas and rich, full-bodied texture. Pinot Gris produces wines that are full-bodied and rich, with flavors of honey and ripe fruit. Muscat is known for its floral and fruity aromas and makes both dry and sweet wines.
Visitors to the region can explore the wineries, which are often housed in traditional half-timbered buildings. The region is also known for its Christmas markets and traditional Alsatian pottery and crafts.
These are just a few examples of the many wine trails you can follow in France. Each region has its own unique wines and flavors, so be sure to do your research and plan accordingly. Enjoy your trip!
Written by Stuti Khetan, Beverage Trade Network