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France's Wine Regions

Each region of France stamps its character into its wine.

The wine regions of France are famous throughout the world.

Champagne
This is the coolest and nothernmost of the regions. Languedoc-Roussillon the warmest and southernmost region. East, next to Germany is the region of Alsace. On the western side of France is the Loire. Then there is the jewels in the center: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chablis, Beaujolais, and the Rhone Valley. Each of these regions proudly presents its wines bearing their names. They often use wine bottles of different shapes, colors, and sizes according to traditional practices.

Just ninty minutes north of Paris is the Champagne region. As noted in previous articles this is the only location in Europe that an legally call its sparkling wines Champagne. For more specific information about Champagne visit the earlier articles. The unique climate of this region is suited to the creation of the Magic Wine.

Alsace
This region is the northeast of France is located in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains and the Rhine River. The wine-producing area is a strip about seventy miles long, with a width of about two miles. This area is unique in its relationship to Germany and France. The people share a river and many of the same grape varietals. The approach is different. While German wines tend to be sweet and low in alocohol, Alsatian wines are dry. The climate is very dry with long summers, allowing the grapes to ripen over a long, slow period. Most Alsatian wines are not bleneded and are labeled by the grape variety the wine has been made from. This differs from other regions, where wines are named after the areas they come from.

Languedoc-Roussillon
Until recently most Americans had not heard of this southern region of France. Neighbor to Provence, it was often over looked by those blinded by the glitter of Cannes and Nice. In truth it is one of the world's largest wine producing regions, and France's largest. The sunny, dry climate is perfect for producing French reds. More than half of France's reds come from Languedoc-Rousillon. They were good, basic, table wines. Recently there has been an explosion of quality wines. Kendell-Jackson and Robert Mondavi are captalizing on the wines of this region. Look for robust reds from lesser known grapes, such as Carignan, but also better known grapes are grown here. One of the great advantages to quantity, quality, and low profile is great prices. You can find great wines from this region for under $10!

Read about More French Wine Regions.

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