The wine park

Countries

France

Chateau-Latour-Vineyard

sauternes

Brut-Rose-Champagne

Rhone-Valley

Introduction

Dating back to the Roman times, France’s wine making history goes back to 6th century BC. Today France is the largest producer of wine in the world and home to almost all the noble / international grape varieties. It produces some of the most expensive wines in the world that are sold internationally and even regular everyday wines sold only in France. Producing all styles of wines – red, white (dry, semi-sweet and sweet), rose, sparkling and fortified, one thing common between all French wines is that they are terroir driven. Terroir refers to the unique combination of natural factors associated with any particular region / vineyard. It includes such factors as soil, underlying rock, altitude, slope of hill or terrain, orientation toward the sun, and microclimate (typical rain, winds, humidity, temperature variations, etc.) It is this terroir that has formed the basis for the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system of classification of wines. The appellation rules define the area, grape varietal and wine making methods and a wine must follow these rules to gain classification under their AOCs. Most other classification systems in the world are modelled on the French system. As of 2005 there were 472 different wine AOCs in France.

France can be divided into the following main wine producing regions. Each of these regions is further divided into communes or villages. Either an entire village can be one single AOC or consist of numerous AOCs within, depending on the terroir.

Wine Regions

Bordeaux: Possibly the most famous and best source of fine wine in the world, Bordeaux lies along the Gironde River and is divided into Left Bank and Right Bank along its tributaries. Bordeaux wines are mostly red but it also produces some world class sweet wines like Sauternes. These wines are further divided according to quality and the best ones are typically aged for a long period of time. Left bank wines are predominately Cabernet Sauvignon with some amount of Merlot and Cabernet Franc blended into them and the best ones come from the Medoc and Graves region. Famous ones include Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Haut-Brion. Right bank Bordeaux wines are made from Merlot grapes with the best of them from the St. Emilion and Pomerol communes. Famous Merlot wines include Chateau Petrus, Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Le Pin.

Burgundy: Much like Bordeaux, Burgundy too produces some of the finest and most expensive red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes and white wines made from Chardonnay grapes. It is here that terroir finds its biggest expression with Burgundy divided into the highest numbers of appellations than any other French region. It is also the region where red wines and white wines are equally important. The top wines from Burgundy's heartland in Côte d'Or command high prices. The best Chardonnay or Burgundy whites come from Chablis, Puligny-Montrachet, Pouilly-Fuisse, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault. The best Pinot Noir or Burgundy reds come from Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanee, Morey-Saint-Denis and Nuits-Saint-Georges.

Beaujolais: The Beaujolais region, famous for fruity red wines made from Gamay grapes which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. The best wines come from Cru Beaujolais that comprises of 10 villages producing light to fuller bodied wines that can be aged for a few years. Beaujolais Nouveau is the most mass produced wine making up nearly half of the region's total wine production and is released just a few weeks after fermentation. Beaujolais villages is the intermediate category and Beaujolais AOC is the most extended appellation covering all 96 villages.

Champagne: Only a couple of hours drive from Paris and home to the most famous sparkling wine in the world, Champagne lies in the north of France and is the coldest wine producing region in the country. The principal grapes grown in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Pinot Meunier and it is a blend of these that goes into making Champagne. Champagne can be either non-vintage or vintage and is all about brands. Famous Champagne brands include Moet & Chandon, Krug, Dom Perignon, Bollinger, etc to name a few. A growing trend is that of smaller boutique Champagne houses known as grower champagnes.

Rhone Valley: Located in the south eastern part of France, Rhone is home to the Syrah or Shiraz grape. It is divided into Northern & Southern Rhone and produces Syrah and Grenache wines respectively. Famous Syrah wines come from Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Saint-Joseph, and Crozes-Hermitage. Southern Rhone allows for 13 different grape varietals with Grenache being the major one. Chateauneuf de Pape is possibly the most famous wine from Southern Rhone.

Loire Valley: Loire Valley wine regions are situation along the Loire River in north central France and include 87 appellations. Majority of wine produced here is white from Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne Blanc grapes; small quantity of red wines is produced from Cabernet Franc grapes. Crémant (sparkling wine produced in France other than the Champagne region) is also produced here with Loire valley being the second largest producer after Champagne. Popular wines are Sancerre & Pouilly-Fume made from Sauvignon Blanc, Vouvray made from Chenin Blanc and Muscadet made from Melon de Bourgogne. Loire wines tend to exhibit characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavours, especially in their youth.

Alsace: Lying in the north east of France right near the German-French border, Alsace is most noted for dry Rieslings as well as highly aromatic Gewürztraminer wines. It has 3 appellations and is the only French region that is allowed to label its wines based on varietal. Other grapes permitted are Pinot Gris (known as Pinot Grigio in Italy), Muscat and Slyvander. Crémant d'Alsace is a significant part of the wine production in Alsace, with 18% of the region's vineyards used for this purpose, where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are permitted. Unlike its German counterparts, Alsace Rieslings are mostly dry. Some producers do make sweet / late harvest wines mostly from Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris.

Languedoc-Roussillon: Spanning the Mediterranean coastline and largest in terms of area and production (1/3rd of France’s wine production), Languedoc has mostly been the region for cheap bulk wines. However, that trend is fast changing with some talented, experimenting wine makers making good quality wines. The Languedoc-Roussillon area is home to numerous grape varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The traditional Rhone grapes of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Viognier are also prominent considering it shares its borders with Rhone Valley. Believed to be home to the world’s oldest sparkling wine, this region also produces Cremant from Chardonnay and Mauzac grapes known as Crémant de Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux respectively. It also produces sweet fortified wines from Muscat grapes. Much Languedoc-Roussillon wine is sold as Vin de Pays d'Oc.

Our Wines :
  1. Champagne Billecart-Salmon, Brut Reserve - NV

    WS 91
    France
    Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir
    Champagne
  2. Champagne Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rosé - NV

    WS 93
    France
    Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir
    Champagne
  3. Out of stock

  4. Saint Cosme, Little James' Basket Press White - 2011

    RP 86
    France
    Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
    White Wine

    Out of stock