An Introduction to French Wine

As we know, wine is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and when we think about wine, one of the first associations we have is French wine. Even though many other countries produce wine, France has made a name for itself in the industry. Today, French wine is a central part of the French economy and the national culture. Along with having a huge population of wine enthusiasts, France is one of the countries that produces the most wine worldwide.

Every year, 7,600,000,000 (7.6b) bottles of wine worth €40b are produced from 7.6m tons of grapes grown on 786k hectares of land throughout France, making the country the second-largest producer of wine in the world. French wine is an iconic part of their culture, but its origins are not rooted in France. Historically, fermenting grapes dates back to China around 7000 B.C.E. and Georgia around 6000 B.C.E.

Although wine didn’t originate in France, it has developed further within French culture…

Numerous winemaking methods did originate in France, however. Dom Pierre Pérignon, a monk and an early proponent of natural winemaking, created a specific sparkling wine by accident while experimenting with novel winemaking techniques. Today, his invention is known as champagne, and in his time, Dom Pérignon contributed to research efforts to enhance the winemaking process.

All sparkling wines are not champagne  

Many people mistakenly refer to all sparkling wines as champagne, but this is not the case. Other French wines are similar to champagne but not precisely the same. According to European Union legislation, the phrase champagne can only be used for products that follow specific parameters.

French wine and World War Two

The French wine region was the target of several acts of pillage when Germany invaded and occupied France in World War II. Many French vintners took a special part in the resistance out of a fear that the Nazis may wipe out the French wine industry. They did this by concealing the origins of French vineyards and hiding the most priceless bottles of French wine to preserve their culture.

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