Evoke France to any stranger, you can be sure that every time, one of the first associations you hear will relate to the country’s wine reputation. Of course, Europe is also full of many famous wine routes , but the reputation of France is surely the number and diversity of roads it counts. Here is a little overview, where all the taste buds will find their account:
The wine route of Alsace
The oldest route, absolutely essential for any oenologist and spread over more than 170 kilometers , this route alone holds seven different grape varieties: six white wines (Gewurtztraminer, Sylvaner, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Muscat, Riesling), and only one red or rosé (Pinot Noir). Many tasting cellars are waiting for you: a unique opportunity to meet producers directly. You are in a region as rich in gastronomy as in culture: do not miss to stop at the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg in Orschwiller, Colmar or Riquewihr, nor to stop in a typical half-timbered house to taste a sauerkraut or a baeckeoffe.
The wine routes of the Loire
If you are more attracted by the temperate mildness of the Loire and its tributaries, other wine discoveries with mysterious and enticing sounds await you: Chinon, Anjou, Sancerre, Bourgueil, Pouilly-Fumé, without forgetting Coteaux-du-Layon This wine could very well be the little brother of honey. These are the kings of France and England, once masters of these lands, who contributed to the creation of the many vineyards of the region, that several routes will allow you to discover. The castles to visit are also numerous, as are the cities that are worth a visit: Nantes, Saumur and Angers, not forgetting Vendôme and its surroundings that will delight lovers of troglodyte villages.
The Bordeaux wine routes
For lovers of red wine and English-speaking poor country – let’s not forget that it is to the English that we owe the rise of these roads – Bordeaux and its 57 appellations of controlled origin undoubtedly represent the most royal road . But lovers of white will also find their account, since the region produces dry whites from red grape varieties. The Bordeaux vineyards enjoy a temperate climate thanks to the humidity of the Atlantic Ocean. After exploring the charm of Bordeaux’s old town, take a detour to the medieval village of Saint-Emilion, listed as a Unesco National Heritage.
Burgundy wine routes
The roads of Burgundy are the fruit of successive legacies dating back to the Middle Ages: it was first monks who began to produce wine, creating specific production areas around their abbeys – do not miss visit those of Cluny and Cîteaux. Then, it is the kings of France in person, as well as the Dukes of Burgundy, who contributed to the expansion of no less than four thousand wine estates . You can take four different routes : the “grands crus de Bourgogne” (the most royal), the “vineyards of Yonne” (main house of Chablis), and the “route of great wines” located along the Chalonnaise side, punctuated by beautiful little villages, and that of “Mâconnais-Beaujolais” wines where it will be easy for you to find your way thanks to the numerous “Follow the bunch” signs.