Recent reports showed that France enjoyed record-breaking sales of wines and spirits in 2015, proving that French wine is still as popular as ever all throughout the world.
Not only that, but wine tours and visits to French vineyards continue to grow in popularity, for where better to taste the best that France has to offer than from the source?
France is the birthplace of many grapes now grown globally, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. It also has one of the oldest systems for protected designation of origin in the world, with strict laws for wine production. The history of France’s winemaking is fascinating, so not only will you get the chance to taste many varieties, but you’ll also learn many interesting facts at the same time!
So if this sounds like your kind of holiday, cycling or strolling along between vineyards, tasting wine and eating fabulous food, then you’re in the right place. But where should you go? With so many different regions to choose from, we’ve put together a quick stop wine tour of France to help you work out what area you’d like to visit.
The Loire Valley is France’s third largest wine producing region, known for its sparkling wine (second most popular after the Champagne region) called fines bulles and lighter reds. The white and rosé wines are perfect for the spring and summer because of their lightness and for being so refreshing.
Visiting the Loire, you will be treated to stunning architecture, rivers and châteaux. Perfect for a cycling holiday, or if you want to really relax, sail along the river on a beautiful luxury barge.
Our interactive wine map of the Loire helps you match the gapes you know to the appellation name on your bottle.
One of France’s most well-known wine producing regions, and also one of the largest. There are over 10,000 producers of wine here making over 900 million bottles each year. No mean feat!
If you are going to tour this area, we’d definitely recommend going by bike, and make sure that the towns (and vineyards) of Pauillac, St Emilion and Margaux are along your route before finishing in Bordeaux itself. A perfect one for foodies too, for what is wine without fine food to accompany it?
Home to many of France’s most famous wines, this region is best known for its Chardonnay, Chablis, Beaujolais Nouveau and Pinot Noir, although the majority of the wines found here are red.
If you visit around the third week in November, you will likely see revellers celebrate the year’s Beaujolais Nouveau, which is a light red designed to be drunk as soon as possible after bottling.
This is a great region to be toured by canal, stopping off at various winemakers along the way.
This region is probably one of the most diverse regions, producing everything from fruity reds to full-bodied whites. Well known wines from this region are called Côtes du Rhône.
If you are a keen cyclist, this would be a great one for you, you will have deserved your glass of wine at the end of the day cycling alongside the river!
This area of Northern France is best known for its dry whites and sparkling wines, due to its cooler climate. It has close links with Germany, and a German influence will be very apparent. So you will be likely to be trying Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines here.
You can cycle the oldest wine route in France, what perfect way to get to know this region better? From Strasbourg to the wine capital Colmar, you won’t be disappointed.
If you’d like some advice or more information on the tours we have available through the wine regions, then please get in touch, our team will be able to help plan your perfect wine tour. Either call us on +44 (0)1580 214010, or send us an email.
Top tipple wine tours
Loire Valley River Cruise
Cruise through spectacular scenery in the Valley of the KingsAboard the only hotel barge sailing through the Loire Valley, you'll be treated to a unique view of the valley's numerous châteaux, many with expansive river frontages and the odd one even crossing the river above the barge, such a...
Luxury Grand Cru Tour
Cycle through Bordeaux’s most prestigious vineyardsThis prestige cycle tour is for those who appreciate Bordeaux’s supremacy as the wine cellar of France. The route takes you through some of the most famous towns such as Pauillac, St Emilion and Margaux with a chance to taste wines. Y...
Burgundy Canal Cruise
Gentle cruise through lush green countrysideClimb aboard the 12-berth L’Impressioniste for a passage through the picturesque locks and sleepy villages to discover the best of Burgundy. You’ll sample the exquisite wines of the region, visit the Cistercian Abbeyat La Bussière ...
Alsace Prestige en Vélo
Cycle the famous wine route of the AlsaceAlsace is a little known corner of France with a distinctly Germanic influence: a combination of picturesque historic towns, fine wines, beer and choucroute contribute to a unique culture. Cycle the oldest wine route in France, st...