French White Wine
French wine originated in the 6th century BC, with the colonization of Southern Gaul by Greek settlers. Viticulture soon flourished with the founding of the Greek colony of Marseille. Wine has been around for thousands of years in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean, but France has made it a part of their civilization and has considered wine-making as an art for over two thousand years. Not only did the Gauls know how to cultivate the vine, they also knew how to prune it. Pruning creates an important distinction in the difference between wild vines and wine producing grapes. Before long, the wines produced in Gaul were exceptionally famous all around the world. The Roman Empire licensed regions in the south to produce wines. St. Martin of Tours (316–397) was actively engaged in both spreading Christianity and planting vineyards. During the Middle Ages, monks maintained vineyards and, more importantly, conserved wine-making knowledge and skills during that often turbulent period. Monasteries had the resources, security, and motivation to produce a steady supply of wine both for celebrating mass and generating income. During this time, the best vineyards were owned by the monasteries and their wine was considered to be superior. Over time the nobility developed extensive vineyards. However, the French Revolution led to the confiscation of many of the vineyards owned by the Church and others.
French White Wine
The amount of information included on French wine labels varies depending on which region the wine was made in, and what level of classification the wine carries. As a minimum, labels will usually state that classification, as well as the name of the producer, and, for wines above the Vin De Table level, will also include the geographical area where the wine was made. Sometimes that will simply be the wider region where the wine was made, but some labels, especially for higher quality wines, will also include details of the individual village or commune, and even the specific vineyard where the wine was sourced. With the exception of wines from the Alsace region, France had no tradition of labelling wines with details of the grape varieties used. Since New World wines made the names of individual grape varieties familiar to international consumers in the late 20th century, more French wineries started to use varietal labelling. In general, varietal labelling is most common for the Vin de Pays category, although some AOC wines now also display varietal names. For most AOC wines, if grape varieties are mentioned, they will be in small print on a back label.
French White Wine
The advance of the French wine industry stopped abruptly as first Mildew and then Phylloxera spread throughout the country, indeed across all of Europe, leaving vineyards desolate. Then came an economic downturn in Europe followed by two world wars, and the French wine industry didn’t fully recover for decades. Meanwhile, competition had arrived and threatened the treasured French “brands” such as Champagne and Bordeaux. This resulted in the establishment in 1935 of the Appellation d’origine contrôlée to protect French interests. Large investments, the economic upturn following World War II and a new generation of Vignerons yielded results in the 1970s and the following decades, creating the modern French wines we know today.
French White Wine
French wine is produced all throughout France, in quantities between 50 and 60 million hectolitres per year, or 7–8 billion bottles. France is one of the largest wine producers in the world. French wine traces its history to the 6th century BC, with many of France’s regions dating their wine-making history to Roman times. The wines produced range from expensive high-end wines sold internationally to more modest wines usually only seen within France such as the Margnat wines were during the post war period.
French White Wine
French Chenin Blanc Taste & Styles French Chenin Blanc is available primarily in 3 styles: a dry wine, a sweet wine, and a sparkling wine. The dry style of Chenin Blanc is light-bodied, with aromas of white peach, honeysuckle and lime and flavors of lemon, chamomile, green pear, citrus blossoms and sometimes subtle notes of salted butter. The sweet style of Chenin Blanc is medium- to full-bodied with flavors of peach, apricot, orange blossom, honey, marzipan and ginger. Finally, the sparkling style ranges in sweetness but it typically dry with flavors of citrus blossom, white peach, lemon peel, and subtle notes of cream and yeast.
French White Wine
Undervalued Whites The white wines listed above are popular and thus, often command a higher price. There are however many other white wines of France to explore that are under-the-radar, delicious, and often available for less than $10 a bottle. Sound interesting? Here are a few worth knowing: Ugni Blanc (aka Trebbiano) This grape is the most important wine grape of Cognac and Armagnac brandy but also makes fabulous, dry, lean white wines with a citrus zest quality. Colombard This grape grows primarily in the under-valued region of South West France (often labeled as Côtes de Gascogne) and is used primarily for Armagnac brandy. It tastes very similar to Sauvignon Blanc often with more touches of passion fruit. Picpoul de Pinet (aka Folle Blanche) This wine is found in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and produces very lean, minerally white wines similar to Muscadet that are known as “lip stingers.” Grenache Blanc The white version of Grenache (aka Garnacha) that grows mostly in the South of France from the Rhône to Roussillon (next to Spain). Grenache Blanc is often blended with other grapes and is loved for it’s dry, lemony flavors and beeswax-like texture. Gros Manseng This wine is found mostly in South West France and produces both dry and sweet wines (labeled as Jurancon and Jurancon Sec) that taste of tropical fruit with lime zest. They are amazing. Aligote The “other white” of Bourgogne that’s rarely talked about because it’s very unlike Chardonnay! Aligote is dry and lean with notes of minerals, saline and a spicy finish.
French Sauvignon Blanc Taste & Styles French Sauvignon Blanc is most commonly a bone-dry, lean, and light-bodied white wine with flavors of grass, green pear, honeydew melon, grapefruit, white peach, and subtle notes of slate-like minerals. There is one region in Bordeaux however, called Pessac-Leognan that is known for also producing an oaked style of Sauvignon Blanc–well worth exploring,–that is dry and medium-bodied, with flavors of grapefruit, white peach, sage, fresh bread, and subtle notes of butter. Finally, Sauvignon Blanc is blended with Sémillon to make a sweet white wine which you can read about in the notes below on Sémillon.
Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest region in terms of vineyard surface and production, hence the region in which much of France’s cheap bulk wines have been produced. So-called “wine lake”, Languedoc-Roussillon is also the home of some innovative producers who combine traditional French wine like blanquette de Limoux, the world’s oldest sparkling wine, and international styles while using lessons from the New World. Much Languedoc-Roussillon wine is sold as Vin de Pays d’Oc.
French White Wines France is the origin place of many of the world’s most popular white wines including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. However, due to the way the French label their wines, it’s often hard to identify what exactly what wine is in the bottle. In this article we’ll identify the primary white wines of France, how they taste (because they taste different than their American counterparts), and provide you with common ways French white wines are labeled. Section Guide .. Chardonnay .. Sauvignon Blanc .. Sémillon .. Muscadet .. Chenin Blanc .. Muscat Blanc .. Viognier .. Alsace Whites .. Undervalued Whites
French White Wines France is the origin place of many of the world’s most popular white wines including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. However, due to the way the French label their wines, it’s often hard to identify what exactly what wine is in the bottle. In this article we’ll identify the primary white wines of France, how they taste (because they taste different than their American counterparts), and provide you with common ways French white wines are labeled.
In 1935, numerous laws were passed to control the quality of French wine. They established the Appellation d’origine contrôlée system, which is governed by a powerful oversight board (Institut national des appellations d’origine, INAO). Consequently, France has one of the oldest systems for protected designation of origin for wine in the world, and strict laws concerning winemaking and production. Many other European systems are modelled after it. The word “appellation” has been put to use by other countries, sometimes in a much looser meaning. As European Union wine laws have been modelled after those of the French, this trend is likely to continue with further EU expansion.
French Sémillon Taste & Styles French Sémillon grows in Bordeaux, France and is almost always blended with a little Sauvignon Blanc. There are 2 primary styles of Sémillon. The most famous style is a rare sweet dessert white wine made famous by the region of Sauternes in Bordeaux. Expect these sweet white wines to have flavors of apricot, ginger, honey, citrus zest and subtle notes of jasmine and marmalade. The other style of Sémillon blend from Bordeaux is a dry, light-bodied white wine with notes of lemon, grapefruit, gooseberry, honeysuckle flowers and grass.