France is your friend who comes for tea, eats your biscuits, rearranges your furniture and tells you your pants are looking tight, but still you find her totally captivating. She’s so damn charming that even her flaws are endearing. In the wine industry, France is considered ground zero. Sure, it makes its share of crappy table wine, (so does everywhere else!), but what France does best is deceptively simple: puts the focus on place and origin.
Compared to its regional neighbours, the French wine narrative is quite straightforward: there are less than 20 main wine regions and just over 50 grape varieties. Thanks to the relatively strict controls around wine production that most regions enforce, there is a sense of tradition, consistency and legacy that beautifully circumvents trends and fads. There are exceptions, of course, but all things considered, France is the classic place to start when you tackle the world of Euro-vin. Or is that vin-Euro?
If pinot noir has a home, it’s in Burgundy; but there’s more to French pinot than Burgundy. Here are some other pinot noir producing regions in France for you to try.
Words by Clare Burder