It’s France, it’s all things decadent, delicious, gorgeous and luxurious. It’s cafe au lait with buttered baguette and a tour of the Louvre in the morning before a train to Bordeaux in the afternoon. It’s whatever your laissez-faire attitude towards your trip wants and that’s what makes a French vacay so spectacular!
Look, all Emily in Paris-style cliches aside, all vino connoisseurs should attempt to explore at least one of France’s famed viticulture regions, not only for the wine but for the wonderful local fare and culture that surrounds their rolling vineyards.
Whether it’s a Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape from the Rhône, a Château Margaux from Bordeaux or a Dom Pérignon from Champagne, here are three French wine regions that are most certainly worth the visit:
Well, how could we not begin with Bordeaux, possibly the world’s most celebrated viticultural region? Comprising the three subregions of Medoc, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, the rich, Atlantic coastal soil of Bordeaux produces some of the world’s most celebrated red varieties (including the aforementioned Château Margaux!).
Typically blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, Bordeaux is revered for its bistros that proudly serve up local red alongside some of their famous food, so don’t be shy to waltz into a local steakhouse and order a plate of entrecote with a nice Left Bank red to accompany the delicious cut of meat cooked over vine shoots.
Because we Australians always have to contend with the fact that our best sparkling white wine will only ever be classed as “sparkling white wine”, we might as well take the opportunity to visit the land that has laid claim to the original and very best sparkling white wine in the game – Champagne.
Go on: be fancy, treat yo self – it’s not everyday you find yourself able to sip the world’s most celebrated whites straight from their place of origin, so connoisseurs and everyday vacay-makers should jump at the opportunity to head just over an hour from Paris to this dazzling part of the country.
Not only will you be greeted by some of the world’s finest white vintages, but you will receive an absolute education in this desired drop, with the likes of the Pommery Champagne, the House of Mumm, the Champagne Mercier and the Moët and Chandon Cellars all providing unforgettable insights into this fabulous drop and why everybody wants it so badly.
3. The Rhône
Head south on the way to Marseille to find yourself in the splendid Rhône Valley, home to the likes of the sumptuous Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape.
One of the country’s biggest producers, the region is revered for its delightful Mediterranean blends like Viognier and Syrah. Not only is the region fantastic for its viticulture, but the Valley is also a pretty fab spot to jet off for some French fun and adventure, with the likes of the Alps just nearby offering up everything from skiing to mountain biking, hiking, climbing and canoeing.
Finally, you will likely use the incredible city of Lyon as your jumping point. Lyon is – without a doubt – one of the world’s most important culinary cities, with some of history’s most important and influential chefs applying their trade in and around town.
You can trust, therefore, that you are sure to enjoy a fabulous Rhône vintage alongside some unique French fare and food – it’s all part of the adventure, really…
These are the regions that one shouldn’t overlook if they want to taste the best of what fertile France has to offer – bonne soif!