French wine appellations

On this page we will be posting descriptions of the exciting, emerging wine appellations of France. We will tell you where it is, why it is interesting, what the rules are, what grape varieties are permitted and some of the better wines from the appellation to look out for. It is not an exhaustive list but we will gradually get them all done.

Overview of French appellations

Ajaccio wine appellation

Ajaccio is a wine appellation in Corsica, France that permits red, rose and white wines to be produced. Some of the vineyards are very high in the Corsican hills. The red wines can achieve considerable finesse and distinction and are produced from the local Sciaccarellu grape.

Read more about the Ajaccio wine appellation

Aloxe-Corton wine appellation

Aloxe-Corton is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which produces some of the finest red wines of the area from the Pinot Noir grape. It is located in the northern part of the Cote de Beaune on the famous Corton hill. The appellation extends over 117 hectares and produces over 400 hectolitres of red wine and 80 hectolitres of white wine.

Read more about the Aloxe-Corton wine appellation

Alsace wine appellation

Alsace is a broad wine appellation in the Alsace region of France for the production of a wide range of wines from different grape varieties and different wine styles such as Vendages Tardives.
Alsace is one of the few regions of France where it is permitted to put the grape variety on the label of an AOC wine (Vin de Savoie and Arbois are others).
So the label can show that the appellation is Alsace or Alsace Grand Cru and this can be followed by a 'denomination' or region where the wine is produced such as Rosacker (in the case of Grand Cru appellations) and then the name of the grape and the wine style.
Thus, it is possible to find an Alsace wine with Alsace Gutedel which is the local name for the Chasselas grape or Alsace Riesling or Alsace Gewurztraminer, for example. If the wine was made in the Vendanges Tardives style then it could say Alsace Vendanges Tardives Muscat, for example.

Alsace Grand Cru wine appellation

Alsace Grand Cru is a wine appellation in the Alsace region of France. The appellation was created in 1983 amid some controversy about the approach. Over fifty vineyards producing Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer or Muscat (also known as Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains) can use this appellation on their labels, but some of the finest producers of the region choose not to do so.
There is an exception for the Zotzenberg and Kaefferkopf Grand Crus where the use of the Muscat grape is forbidden.

There is then an extra layer called a 'denomination' below the Grand Cru level which is different for each area within the appellation. Thus there is the appellation of Alsace Grand Cru. Below this there are dozens of denominations such as Altenberg de Wolxheim, Bruderthal, Eichberg, Florimont, Geisberg, Frankstein and Rosacker to name but a few. And, of course, on the label, for each of the denominations there is also the grape variety to add as well.
Thus a label might display Alsace Grand Cru Rosacker Muscat or Alsace Grand Cru Rosacker Riesling or Alsace Grand Cru Pinot Gris or many more for each grape variety and style such as Vendanges Tardives.

Anjou wine appellation

Anjou is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France near the city of Angers that permits red, white and the famous rose. The reds are made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay and Grolleau and the whites from Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Read more about the Anjou wine appellation

Anjou Villages wine appellation

Anjou-Villages is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France which is a sub-appellation of the broader Anjou appellation. There are 151 communes entitled to use the Anjou appellation, however only 46 of these can use the higher level Anjou-Village designation and can append the name of the village in a similar way to some villages in the Rhone. The main grape used here is Cabernet Franc.

Anjou Villages Brissac wine appellation

Anjou Villages Brissac is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley of France. It is well-known for refined reds made from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. This appellation lies between Angers and Saumur on the southern bank of the Loire and is centered on the village of Brissac-Quince.

Anjou-Coteaux de la Loire wine appellation

Anjou-Coteaux de la Loire wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France that produces sweet wines. It is a relatively small and unknown appellation, but some of the wines produced here are well worth seeking out, especially those from Domaine du Fresche such as the expensive Domaine du Fresche Vieille Seve Moelleux Coteaux de la Loire.

Arbois wine appellation

Arbois is a wine appellation in the Cotes du Jura region of France based around the village of Arbois. Here you will find red wines made from Pinot Noir, Trousseau and Poulsard and white wines based on Savagnin and some Chardonnay.

Read more about the Arbois wine appellation

Arbois-Pupillin wine apPellation

Arbois Pupillin is a wine appellation in the Jura region of France within the commune of Pupillin. Some very interesting "Vin Jaune" wines are produced here. The 'yellow' wines are matured for a long time in open vats protected by a crust of yeast that allows some oxidisation of the wine - hence producing the yellow colour. The wines subsequently develop a great character and longevity. But there are also white wines and red wines produced from a variety of grapes including Poulsard noir (known locally as Ploussard), Trousseau, Savagnin and Chardonnay (known locally as Melon d'Arbois or Gamay Blanc).

Auxey-Duresses wine appellation

Auxey-Duresses is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France situated around the village of the same name. As with most of the Burgundy region the reds are made from Pinot Noir (supplemented by Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris provided they are less than 15% of the blend) and the whites from Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. This puts Auxey-Duresse in the exclusive club of Burgundy appellations where a 100% Pinot Blanc can be made.

Auxey-Duresses was designated as a Premier Cru for red wine in November 1981. It covers an area of 134 hectares and produces nearly 4000 hectolitres of red wine and 2000 litres of white wine.

The label must show the name of the appellation and this can be followed by Premier Cru and if applicable the name of one of the designated 'climats' where the vines grow. The climats are: Bas des Duresses, Climat du Val, Clos du Val, La Chapelle, Les Bréterins, Les Duresses, Les Ecussaux, Les Grands Champs and Reugne.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Bandol wine appellation

Bandol is the name of a town on the French Mediterranean coast about half way between Toulon and Cassis. It gives its name to the local Bandol wine appellation producing red Mourvedre-based wines, aged roses and some white wines. Perhaps the best known domaine is Domaine Tempier which has long been featured at leading restaurants in the United States such as Chez Panisse in California and Campagne in Seattle.

Read more about the Bandol wine appellation

Banyuls wine appellation

Banyuls is a wine appellation in the southern-most part of France near the charming seaside town of Collioure. The wine produced here is mainly Vin Doux Naturel which is a red fortified, slightly sweet wine that is a perfect match for chocolate desserts.

Banyuls grand cru wine appellation

Banyuls Grand Cru wine appellation lies in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France in the communes of Banyuls-sur-Mer, Cerbère, Collioure, Port-Vendres . It is famous for the complex sweet, red wines produced in this area.

For wines to qualify for this designation, they have to be aged for 30 months or more and comprise at least 75% of Grenache for Grand Cru wines. Other grape varieties allowed include Maccabeu, Tourbat, Muscat a Petit Grain, Mscat d'Alexandrie, Carignan, Cinsaut and Syrah.

Barsac wine appellation

Barsac is an important appellation for delicious sweet white wines in Bordeaux, France. Some of the best examples of serious sweet white wines are produced in this appellation.

Bâtard-Montrachet wine appellation

Batard-Montrachet is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France. It lies within the Chassagne-Montrachet region in the southern part of the Cote de Beaune and wines produced here attract Grand Cru status. Nearly 500 hectolitres of red wine only are produced from the 11 hectares of this appellation.

The limestone soils in this appellation are increasingly being recognised as perfect for the production of luscious white wines that are capable of lasting for a long time.

Béarn wine appellation

The Bearn wine appellation in south west France is well known for some big red wines and some very good white wines. Rose wines are also allowed under this appellation. The appellation roughly equates to the ancient province of Bearn and sweeps from Pau up the Pyrenees and across into the Gers.

Beaujolais wine appellation

Beaujolais is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France which is famous for lighter-style red wines made from the Gamay grape. As you drive from the south the region starts just past the city of Lyon and extends through Fleurie and on to Julienas.

White wines made from Chardonnay are permitted here but only about 5% of the production is white.

Beaujolais Villages wine appellation

Beaujolais-Villages is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France whose wines are generally of a better quality than those of the straight Beaujolais appellation.
There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

Beaumes de Venise wine appellation

The Beaumes de Venise appellation is centered on the pretty village of the same name. The appellation is for red and white wines and there is a separate appellation for the wonderful dessert wines for which the village is justly famous.

Read more about the Beaumes de Venise wine appellation

 

Beaune wine appellation

Beaune is a wine appellation in the Cote de Beaune area of the Burgundy region of France producing elegant red wines from the Pinot Noir grape. Many of the vineyards within the Beaune appellation are rated as Premier Cru.
White wines are made from Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc with small amounts of Pinot Gris being permitted. Red wines are made from Pinot Noir with small amounts of the white grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris being allowed in the red wines.

Bellet wine appellation

Bellet is a tiny wine appellation (estimates of the extent of the vineyards range from 32 hectares up to 50 hectares) that lies within the suburbs of the coastal city of Nice in France. The vineyards are believed to have been introduced to the area by the Phoenicians possibly as far back as 2000BC.

It was approved for appellation status in 1941.

Read more about the Bellet or Vin de Bellet wine appellation

Bergerac wine appellation

Bergerac is a broad wine appellation in the Dordogne region of South West France that contains 13 sub-appellations. The broadest appellation refers to wines produced in the Bergerac region from at least two of the nominated red wine grapes of the region, namely Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet wine appellation

Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet is a tiny wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France, specifically on the famous Cote-d'Or in the commune of Puligny-Montrachet which lies a few kilometres south of Beaune near where the N74 meets the D974.

The appellation achieved recognition in 1939, some two years after the Batard-Montrachet was declared. It covers just 3.5 hectares and only produces 146 hectolitres of Grand Cru white wine.

The style of wines produced here are very limited because this is perfect terroir for the production of great white wines from the Chardonnay grape. Therefore only white wines are permitted and only Chardonnay can be used.

Blagny

Blagny is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France. It is on the Côte de Beaune and is sometimes called Blagny Côte de Beaune. The appellation was first created in July, 1937 and only red wines made from Pinot Noir with optional additions of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc are permitted. Some areas within the 4.6 hectares of Blagny are designated as Premier Cru.

Bonnes-Mares wine appellation

Bonnes-Mares is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France exactly half way between the cities of Beaune and Dijon. It covers the communes of Chambolle-Musigny and Morey-Saint-Denis and was created in1936. The only wines permitted in this appellation are red wines made from Pinot Noir with small optional additions of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc. The appellation covers a little over 16 hectares.

Bonnezeaux wine appellation

Bonnezeaux is a tiny wine appellation in the Loire region of France centered on the village of the same name. Bonnezeaux lies about 20 kilometres south of the city of Angers.

The appellation extends over less than 150 hectares on the slopes from the village down to the Layon river. The soils are primarily schist interlaced with seams of quartz. It was granted AC status in 1951.

The appellation permits the production of sweet white wines from the Chenin Blanc grape. These wines are quite age-worthy.

Bordeaux wine appellation

The Bordeaux wine appellation is one of the most famous and widely known in France along with Burgundy and Champagne. There are many sub-appellations here producing bold reds, crisp whites and luscious sweet wines.

The area covered by the Bordeaux appellation is large. It starts where the of the Gironde River in South West France flows into the Atlantic and continues upstream to where the Garonne and Dordogne rivers merge into the Gironde. The area between these two rivers is known as Entre-Deux-Mers.

On the southern side of the Gironde (known as the left bank) starting closest to the Atlantic is Medoc followed by St Estephe, Paulliac (home to the famous Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild), St Julien the Haut Medoc and then Margaux (home to Chateau Margaux). Further inland on the southern side of the Garonne lies Pessac Leognan (home to Chateau Haut-Brion), Graves and the sweet wine appellations of Barsac and then Sauternes.

On the northern side (right bank) of the Dordogne River is Pomerol, Lalande-de-Pomerol, St Emilion and the emerging Cotes de Castillon where some very exciting and good value wines are being produced. Higher up the slopes is the new appellation of Cotes de Francs.

There are two other broad areas associated with Bordeaux on the right bank of the Gironde - known as Cotes de Bourg and Cotes de Blaye.

Bordeaux supérieur wine appellation

Bordeaux Superieur wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France covering many communes in the Gironde for the production of white and red still wines.

For white wines the main grape varieties are Muscadelle, Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris and these can be supplemented by small quantities of Colombard, Merlot Blanc and Ugni Blanc provided the combined amount of these three grapes is less than 30%. The red wines can be made from any of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Cot (Malbec), Merlot or Petit Verdot.

Bourg wine appellation

See Cotes de Bourg

Bourgeais wine appellation

See Cotes de Bourg

Bourgogne

Bourgogne (Burgundy) is the broadest level of appellation in the Burgundy region of France.  It is known as a regional appellation. The appellation was first established in July 1937 for the production of red and white wines as well as rose wines.

Red wines can be produced from Pinot Noir supplemented with the white grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. In the department of Yonne some Cesar Noir can also be used provided the total percentage does not exceed 10%.

White wines can be made from Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc supplemented by less than 10% Pinot Gris.

Bourgogne Aligoté wine appellation

Bourgogne Aligote is a regional wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France. It is a generic appellation covering all regions of Burgundy for wines made from the Aligote grape. It has been a formal appellation since the 31st July 1937.

It is unusual in France (except for Alsace and the Savoie) for an appellation to refer to a grape variety. In this case the name of the grape variety is added to the general Bourgogne appellation provided the wine meets the requirements of the appellation which vary throughout Burgundy particularly with respect to the density of the plantings. However, a minimum condition which must be met is that the wine is made from 100% Aligote. Almost 100,000 hectolitres of Aligote are produced.

Bourgogne grand ordinaire wine appellation

Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France. Red, white and rose wines are permitted under this appellation. A greater variety of grape types can be used in the department of Yonne where Melon de Bourgogne and Le Cesar are permitted white and red varieties respectively.

The following grapes are permitted for white wines, Aligote, Chardonnay, Melon de Bourgogne and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Gris is a supplementary white grape variety but it cannot exceed 10% of the plantings.

Red grape varieties are Gamay and Pinot Noir which can be supplemented by small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Cesar (in Yonne only).

There are two exceptions/additions to the grape varieties. For vineyards that currently have plantings of Tressot and/or Sacy these can continue to be used in the Yonne department, but new plantings cannot be made.

Bourgogne Mousseux wine appellation

Bourgogne Mousseux is a regional wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which was originally declared in March, 1943 and is reserved for the production of sparkling red wines made from either Gamay or Pinot Noir supplemented by Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris and, only in the Department of Yonne, the use of up to 10% of Cesar.

Bourgogne Passe-tout-grains wine appellation

Bourgogne Passetoutgrains is a regional wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France. It is not regarded as a premium appellation and the grape types are a combination of Burgundy and nearby Beaujolais with one third Pinot Noir and two thirds Gamay. However we have enjoyed some beautiful wines labelled with this appellation, such as the one from cult winemaker Fanny Sabre.

Bourgueil wine wine appellation

Bourgueil is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France which is known for some elegant Cabernet Franc wines. The appellation is quite small lying on the right bank (northern side) of the Loire just above the city of Chinon. There are eight communes included in the appellation. It is a sub-appellation of the broader Touraine appellation.

The red wines produced here are usually a deep purple in colour and some can last for many years. A little Cabernet Sauvignon can be used in the wines from here but overwhelmingly Cabernet Franc (known locally as Breton) is used. Rose wines are also permitted.

Bouzeron wine appellation

Bouzeron is an interesting appellation based around the communes of Bouzeron and Chassey-le-Camp in the Cote Chalonnaise. It was elevated to AOC status in 1998. Throughout Burgundy the Aligote grape is generally seen as a second level grape in terms of quality. Aligote wines from other areas of Burgundy can only use the generic labelling of Bourgogne Aligote and play second fiddle to those based on Chardonnay.

Brouilly wine appellation

Brouilly is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France producing deeply coloured red wines made from the Gamay grape (although 15% of Pinot noir can be used until 2015). It lies on the slopes of the mountain of the same name and includes the communes of Cercié, Charentay, Odenas, Quincié-en-Beaujolais, Saint-Étienne-la-Varenne and Saint-Lager.

There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

The vines here grow on the favoured granite base. There is a lieu dit here that is well known called Pisse Vielle. A lieu dit is a vineyard or defined area within a Beaujolais appellation where the climate or soils are particularly favourable for the production of interesting wines. The appellation rules allow the Pisse Vielle name to appear on labels as Brouilly Pisse Vielle.

Bugey wine appellation

Bugey is an AOC wine appellation covering 65 communes in the Ain département of the Jura region of France which lies about half way between Lyon and Geneva. It is therefore natural to expect that the vineyards display influences of Burgundy and the Savoie. Bugey was granted AOC status by the governing body, the INAO, in May 2009.

So for white wines, we find Aligote from Burgundy growing alongside Roussette, Jacquere and Altesse. Reds may be made from Pinot Noir or Gamay reflecting the Burgundy and Beaujolais influence or Mondeuse or Poulsard from the Savoie.

There are many sub-appellations either existing or proposed here including Roussette de Bugey, Roussette du Bugey Montagnieu, Bugey Montagnieu mousseux blanc, Bugey Montagnieu pétillant blanc, Bugey Cerdon pétillant rosé and many more.

Buzet wine appellation

Buzet is a wine appellation in the South West region of France in the département of Lot-et-Garonne lying between the towns of Pau, Agen and Marmande. The appellation extends over 27 communes. Buzet has had AOC status since 1973.

In this area there are heavy clay soils that are perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon vines, clay and limestone soils on which Merlot thrives and a soil called boulbène (a silty clay) which is conducive to the wonderful Cabernet Franc.

Red and rose wines are produced from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cot (which is the local name for Malbec) supported by the secondary varieties which are Abouriou and Petit Verdot .

White wines are produced from Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle and Semillon supported by the secondary varieties which are Colombard, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng.

Recently we have been entranced with a wine called Soleil from Domaine du Pech from Buzet. This is a wine that is made from Sauvignon Blanc which has been aged for years and then left out in the sun for six months during summer. The result is a stunning orange wine of amazing complexity.

Read more about the Buzet wine appellation

Cabardès wine appellation

Cabardes is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France in the area just north of the Canal du Midi behind the striking town of Carcassonne. It was proclaimed in February 1999.

The Cabardes appellation takes its influence from both the south through the presence of Syrah and Grenache and the west through grape varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Fer Servadou. Cinsault and Cot are also permitted.

It is a relatively small appellation with about 400 hectares planted to vines out of a possible area of some 2000 hectares. The main type of wine produced here is red although rose wines are also made by some domaines.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Cabernet d'Anjou wine appellation

Cabernet d'Anjou is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France which covers some 3000 hectares within the broader Anjou appellation. It is here that some of the best off-dry and sweet rose wines from the Loire Valley are produced from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Cabernet de Saumur wine appellation

Cabernet de Saumur is a red wine appellation in the Loire valley, France. The wines are produced from Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon on a total area of only 55 hectares across 39 communes south and east of the town of Saumur.

Cadillac wine appellation

The Cadillac wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France occupies a small area on the right bank of the Dordogne quite close to the Garonne river and close to the Loupiac appellation area. The appellation was created in August 1973.

Sweet white wines are produced here primarily from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc with some Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris also used.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Cahors wine appellation

Cahors is a wine appellation in the South West France region of France known for its gutsy, inky red wines crafted from some 4000 hectares of vines. The area forms an arc around the city of Cahors and runs along both banks of the Lot River. It was granted AC status in 1971.

The wine is made from Malbec (known locally as Cot) which must comprise 70% of the wine. The Malbec can be supplemented by Merlot and the robust, hardy and quite tannic Tannat grape.

Canon Fronsac wine appellation

Canon-Fronsac is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France. The appellation is a sub-region of the Fronsac appellation which covers wines made in the communes of Fronsac and Saint Michel de Fronsac.

The appellation covers the production of red wine only and the permitted grapes are the standard Bordeaux varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

The appellation was originally granted in 1939 and in 1964 the name was changed from Cotes Canon Fronsac to Canon Fronsac.

Cassis wine appellation

The Cassis wine appellation is one that encompasses an area of breathtaking scenic beauty. Situated just east of Marseille, the vineyards cling to the steep coastal slopes and are bathed by morning sea mists. The appellation is restricted to just the seaside commune of Cassis and covers only 80 hectares.

The Cassis appellation was one of the first in the country to be established (May, 1936) along with Arbois and Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

While red, white and rose wines are produced here it is the delicate, floral, flinty, citrus whites that have captured our hearts.

The whites are blended from a variety of grapes. The principal varieties are Clairette and Marsanne which together must comprise 60% of the blend, with Marsanne comprising a minimum of 30%. They are supported by the secondary varieties of Ugni Blanc, Pascal Blanc, Doucillon (the local name for Bourboulenc) and Sauvignon Blanc.

Some nice rose wines are produced here from Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Terret Noir and Barbaroux. The less popular reds are assembled from the same grape varieties.

Cérons wine appellation

The Cerons wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France sits within the broader Graves appellation quite close to the Barsac appellation. Here sweet white wines are produced from the standard grape varieties of the region, namely Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.

Chablis wine appellation

Chablis is a wine appellation in the north of the Burgundy region of France to the west of the city of Dijon. The only wine produced in Chablis is flinty white wine made from Chardonnay and Chardonnay only. The appellation was first recognised in 1938.

Chablis grand cru wine appellation

Chablis Grand Cru is a wine appellation in the northern Burgundy region of France covering the commune of Chablis. The following 'climats' can appear on the label to identify where the grapes were sourced: "Blanchot", "Bougros", "Les Clos", "Grenouilles", "Preuses", "Valmur" and "Vaudésir". Only the Chardonnay grape can be used in these wines. The area given over to production is just 102 hectares.

Chambertin wine appellation

Chambertin is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Côte de Nuits area of the Burgundy region of France covering wines produced in the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin that was originally declared in July 1937. The appellation is for the production of red wines only. The wines must be made predominately from Pinot Noir but it is permitted to add small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris.

Chambertin-Clos de Bèze wine appellation

Same rules as Chambertin and also Grand Cru.

Chambolle-Musigny wine appellation

Chambolle Musigny is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the commune of Chambolle-Musigny which lies half way between the cities of Beaune and Dijon. The appellation is reserved for the production of still red wines from Pinot Noir supplemented by small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc.

This appellation is famous for lighter style red wines of considerable elegance.

Chapelle-Chambertin wine appellation

Same rules as Chambertin and the 5.5 hectares are classified as Grand Cru.

Charlemagne wine appellation

See Corton-Charlemagne. It is one of the tiniest wine appellations in France covering just .28 hectares but we believe that there is no production under this appellation with it all being branded by the better known Corton-Charlemagne.

Charmes-Chambertin wine appellation

Same rules as Chambertin, this is a Grand Cru appellation for the production of red wines.

Chassagne-Montrachet wine appellation

Chassagne-Montrachet is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the communes of Chassagne-Montrachet and Remigny which lie a few kilometres south of Beaune straddling the border of the department of Cote-d'Or and Saone-et-Loire. Both still red wines and still white wines can be produced here. White wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. Red wines are made from Pinot Noir with small amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris also being permitted.

Château-Chalon wine appellation

Chateau-Chalon is a wine appellation in the Jura region of France covering the communes of Château-Chalon, Domblans, Menetru-le-Vignoble and Nevy-sur-Seille which lie a few kilometres north of the town of Lons-le-Saunier. This small appellation only allows the production of the famous local dry aged and oxidised wine known as Vin Jaune which must be vinified from the Savagnin grape.
The wine making method is unique with the wine maturing in barrels for over six years, protected from oxidisation by a layer of yeast that forms on top of the wine. It is a strong wine that makes a perfect aperitif wine and bears some similarity in taste and texture to a dry sherry.

Château-Grillet wine appellation

Chateau-Grillet is a wine appellation in the northern Rhone region of France very close to the city of Vienne. It is one of the smallest wine appellations in France at only 3.5 hectares (although there are at least 5 others that are smaller) and producing only 13000 bottles of white wine from Viognier grapes each year.

Chateau-Grillet is situated within the Condrieu appellation and is a monopole with the entire appellation owned by one producer (also called Chateau Grillet) and owned by the French retail billionaire and avid art collector, Francois Pinault. The wines are rich and expensive and exhibit characteristic stone fruit aromas.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine appellation

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most famous appellations in France. Its wines are now highly prized and becoming quite expensive. The vines here are grown in the famous rocky soils that absorb the sun's rays during the day and keep the vines warm at night.

The appellation stretches from Orange in the north to Sorgues in the south (just north of Avignon) and also takes in the communes of Bedarrides, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Courthezon.

The main red grape variety, however, is Grenache which comprises over 70% of the plantings and which gives the wines their power and length. Grenache has a high level of sugar for a red grape and therefore is capable of producing high levels of alcohol In the wine.

The Grenache can be rounded out by any of the other twelve permitted varieties, namely Cinsault, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Shiraz, Terret Noir, Vaccarèse, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picardan, the powerful Roussanne and Picpoul. White wines are made from Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Picpoul and Picardan.

Châtillon-en-Diois wine appellation

Chatillon-en-Diois is an AC wine appellation in the Rhone Valley of France situated near the village of Die which lies in the Gard on the eastern side of the Rhone. It was elevated to AOC status in March 1975.

The principal red varieties are Gamay, Pinot Noir and Syrah and the white wines are made from Aligote and Chardonnay. Reds must comprise at least 75% Gamay.
The area covered by this appellation is a mere 60 hectares. Whites can be produced in the Drome communes of Aix-en-Diois, Barnave, Châtillon-en-Diois, Laval-d'Aix, Luc-en-Diois, Menglon, Molières-Glandaz, Montlaur-en-Diois, Montmaur-en-Diois, Poyols, Recoubeau-Jansac and Saint-Roman. Red and rose wines can only be produced in the communes of Châtillon-en-Diois and Menglon.

An interesting rule that applies in this appellation is that the grapes must be picked by hand. No mechanical harvesting is allowed.

Chénas wine appellation

Chenas is a cru wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France producing powerful and long-lasting red wines from the Gamay grape.

It is only a relatively small appellation with an area a little over 250 hectares but the wines are emerging as a very good value cellaring proposition. The appellation covers two communes (Chénas and La Chapelle-de-Guinchay) in two départements.

There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

Chevalier-Montrachet wine appellation

Chevalier-Montrachet is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France where only white wines made exclusively from Chardonnay are permitted. The wine must be made from grapes grown in the commune of Puligny-Montrachet which lies a few kilometres south of the city of Beaune.

Cheverny wine appellation

Cheverny is a wine appellation in the Loire region of France covering 24 communes and approximately 350 hectares, south-west of the city of Orleans and north-east of the city of Tours. It sits in the wedge of flat plains between the Loire and Cher rivers and covers the communes of Candé-sur-Beuvron, Cellettes, Cheverny, Chitenay, Cormeray, Cour-Cheverny, Feings, Fougères-sur-Bièvre, Fresnes, Huisseau-sur-Cosson, Maslives, Mont-près-Chambord, Monthou-sur-Bièvre, Les Montils, Montlivault, Muides-sur-Loire, Ouchamps, Saint-Claude-de-Diray, Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire, Saint-Laurent-Nouan, Sambin, Seur, Tour-en-Sologne and Vineuil. It was elevated to AOC status in 1993.

The main red grape varieties are Gamay and Pinot Noir supported by up to 15% of Cabernet Franc and Cot.

Rose wines are made from Gamay supported by Pineau d'Aunis and Pinot Noir.

White wines must contain between 60% and 85% of Sauvignon Blanc along with some Chardonnay, Menu Pineau and Chenin Blanc.

Read more about the Cheverny wine appellation

Chinon wine appellation

Chinon is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France based on the town of Chinon with its massive castle.

The appellation stretches along both banks of the Vienne close to its confluence with the Loire and comprises over 2000 hectares of vines.

It is well known for producing some interesting red wines based on the Cabernet Franc grape with a little Cabernet Sauvignon permitted (10%). White wines based on Chenin Blanc is also permitted and a rose is allowed. Some of the white wines produced here are fabulous.

The reds flourish on the prized limestone slopes of the area although good wines are also produced in the heavy clay soils along the plains bordering the Vienne River as well. One of the factors influencing the wines here is the mild climate.

Chiroubles wine appellation

Chiroubles is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France producing elegant red wines made from the Gamay grape (although 15% of Pinot Noir is permitted until 2015). In the latest INAO decet it is now permissible to supplement the Gamay with Aligote, Chardonnay or Melon de Bourgogne.

Like other quality Beaujolais appellations the vines grow on granite soils which seems to particularly promote the expression of the best qualities of the Gamay grape.

There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

Chiroubles is one of the ten crus in the Beaujolais area and only vineyards that fall within the Chiroubles commune can attach this name to their wines. The extent of the vineyards is some 350 hectares. The wines from here are strongly influenced by the granitic soils found in the commune and also for the extra elevation at which they grow as Chiroubles is higher than the surrounding communes.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Chorey-lès-Beaune wine appellation

A wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France where both white and red wines can be produced in an area that covers some 133 hectares. Almost 5000 hectolitres of red wine are produced here and only 320 hectolitres of white wine.

Clairette de Bellegarde wine appellation

Clairette de Bellegarde is a small wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France where interesting white wines are produced using only the Clairette grape variety. This is an unusual appellation as it is one of very few that is confined to just one commune. It lies within the Costerie de Nimes appellation (although it has existed for longer having been created in 1952) and derives its name from the grape from which the wine is produced and the commune where it is produced, namely Bellegarde.

Clairette de Die wine appellation

Clairette de Die is a wine appellation in France's Rhone Valley not very far from the city of Lyon. It is here that some lovely sparkling wines are produced from the Clairette grape variety.

Clairette du Languedoc wine appellation

Clairette du Languedoc is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France which is given over to the production of white wines made only from the Clairette grape. It is one of the oldest appellations in this region of France having been awarded AOC status in 1948. The communes in the Herault that can produce these wines are Adissan, Aspiran, Le Bosc, Cabrieres, Ceyras, Fontes, Lieuran Cabrieres, Nizas, Paulhan, Peret, St-Andre-de-Sangonis. Both dry and sweet wines can be produced from the Clairette grape.

Clos de la Roche wine appellation

Clos de La Roche is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Cote de Nuits area of the Burgundy region of France. It is reserved for the production of red wine only and covers some 13.4 hectares and produces 450 hectolitres of wine.

Clos de Tart wine appellation

Clos de Tart is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Cote de Nuits area of the Burgundy region of France. It is reserved for the production of red wine only and covers some 7.51 hectares and produces 218 hectolitres of wine.

Clos de Vougeot or Clos Vougeot wine appellation

Clos de Vougeot is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Cote de Nuits area of the Burgundy region of France. It is reserved for the production of red wine only and covers some 50 hectares and produces 1650 hectolitres of wine.

Clos des Lambrays wine appellation

Clos des Lambrays is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Cote de Nuits area of the Burgundy region of France. It is reserved for the production of red wine only and covers some 7 hectares and produces 236 hectolitres of wine.

Clos Saint-Denis wine appellation

Clos Saint-Denis is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Cote de Nuits area of the Burgundy region of France. It is reserved for the production of red wine only and covers some 6 hectares and produces 200 hectolitres of wine.

Collioure wine appellation

Collioure is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France situated around the beautiful seaside village of the same name and covering the communes of Banyuls-sur-Mer, Cerbère, Collioure and Port-Vendres. Red wines are made from Grenache, Mourvedre or Syrah with secondary grape varieties being Carignan and Cinsault. The three principal varieties must comprise 60% and may not exceed 90% of the blend. The secondary varieties are limited to 40%.

Rose wines are made from the same grapes as the red wines with the addition of Grenache Gris which is limited to 30% of the blend.

White wines are made from Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris which must comprise at least 70% of the blend. They are supplemented by Tourbat Blanc (Malvoisie), Maccabeu, Marsanne, Roussanne and Rolle (Vermentino) but none of these can be greater than 15% of the blend.

Condrieu wine appellation

Condrieu is a tiny wine appellation (only 25 hectares) at the northern end of the Rhone appellation area near the city of Vienne. It sits on the western bank of the Rhone. Some beautiful white wines produced only from the Viognier grape are produced here.

The appellation was created in April 1940 and has only ever permitted the production of white wines made from the Viognier grape.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Corbières wine appellation

Corbieres is an important wine appellation in the Languedoc region of southern France behind the city of Narbonne sweeping from Beziers to Carcassonne and down to Perpignan. The majority of the wine is red (some 80%) from Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre and Cinsaut and the remainder divided between white (Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Maccabeu, Marsanne) and rose.

Corbières-Boutenac wine appellation

Corbieres-Boutenac is an appellation in the Languedoc region of France based around the commune of Boutenac and nine neighbouring communes that lie between Narbonne and Carcassonne. The appellation was created in 2005, having previously been a sub-region of the broader Corbieres appellation. The appellation is reserved for still blended red wines only. The principal grape varieties are Grenache and Mourvedre supplemented by Carignan and Syrah. Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre must comprise at least 70% of the blend and Carignan must not be less than 30% or greater than 50% of the blend.

Cornas wine appellation

Cornas is a wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France on the west side of the Rhone lying between St Joseph and St Peray where some very powerful yet elegant red wines are produced from the Syrah grapes that thrive here.

Corton wine appellation

Corton is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Cote de Beaune area of the Burgundy region of France. It is reserved for the production of both white and red wine and covers some 95 hectares and produces 2800 hectolitres of red wine and 160 hectolitres of white wine.

Corton-Charlemagne wine appellation

Corton-Charlemagne is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which is reserved for the production of white wines only. Wines produced here are some of the richest and most powerful wines in the entire Burgundy region. The communes where production can occur are Aloxe-Corton, Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses.
Wines are made from Chardonnay with Pinot Blanc playing a supporting role but must not exceed 10% of the blend if used.

Costières de Nîmes wine appellation

Costieres de Nimes is a wine appellation in southern France radiating south and east from the city of Nimes. It covers 24 communes in the Gard département. Red, rose and white wines are permitted in the appellation.

Red and rose wines are vinified from Grenache (which must comprise at least 25%), Syrah and Mourvedre (which together must comprise 20%), Carignan (which must not exceed 40%) and Cinsaut (which also must not exceed 40%).

White wines are vinified from Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Ugni blanc (a maximum of 30%), Marsanne, Roussanne, Maccabéo and Rolle (Vermentino).

Côte de Beaune wine appellation

Cote de Beaune is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France that was promulgated in 1937. The Cote de Beaune appellation is confined to the area around the city of Beaune in Burgundy. There is also a Beaune appellation which is slightly broader. This appellation allows both still red wines and still white wines.
There is a total of 22 hectares devoted to the production of red wine and 12.5 hectares devoted to white wines. As with the Beaune AOC white wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc blended with small amounts of Pinot Gris. Red wines must be made from Pinot Noir but they can be blended with small quantities of the permitted white grapes of the appellation.

Côte de Beaune-Villages wine appellation

Cote de Beaune Villages is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France that was first established in 1937. The Cote de Beaune Villages appellation is broad and runs from Savigny-les-Beaune and Pernand-Vergelesses to the north of Beaune through Monthelie, Meursault and many of the orher well-known Beaune appellations finishing with the commune of Cheilly-les-Maranges in the south. This appellation allows only still red wines.

Côte de Brouilly wine appellation

Cote de Brouilly is a 290 hectare wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France producing fine wines from the Gamay grape. The vineyards grow on the slopes of Mount Brouilly which is covered in volcanic soils.

There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

This is a cru appellation that is not named after a commune in the Beaujolais area. Rather it is named after an area. The communes on the slopes of Mount Brouilly that are part of this appellation are Odenas, Saint-Lager, Quincie and Cercié. Here the vineyards thrive on granitic soils and some schist soils.

Côte de Nuits-Villages wine appellation

Coming soon!

Côte Roannaise wine appellation

Cote Roannaise is a wine appellation that lies in central France close to the city of Roanne. It lies to the west of the Beaujolais appellation and is actually more closely aligned with the Loire even though the method of making the red wines here closely follows the techniques adopted in Beaujolais and even the grape variety is the same - namely Gamay.  The vines grow entirely in granitic soils which accounts for the complexity that the wines exhibit once they gain some bottle age. Carbonic maceration is widely used in this appellation extending the similarities with Beaujolais.

Côte Rôtie wine appellation

Cote Rotie is a wine appellation in the northern section of the Rhone wine region of France. It is widely regarded as one of the premiere sites for the production of silky, seductive, austere and elegant Syrah-based wines.

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence wine appellation

The Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence wine appellation surrounds the charming southern city of Aix-en-Provence. The appellation gained AOC status in 1985 with rose, red and white wines being permitted.

The permitted red wine grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Counoise, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Permitted white grape varieties are Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Vermentino and Ugni Blanc.

Unusually the INAO restricts the percentage of planting of certain grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan for red plantings and Ugni Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for white varieties.

Coteaux d'Ancenis wine appellation

Coteaux d'Ancenis is one of the most recently elevated AOC appellations. The production of white, red and rose wines is permitted. In all, there are 24 communes covered by this appellation. Unusually for the Loire Valley all wines are single varietals with white wines only made from Pinot Gris (locally known as Malvoisie) and red wines only made from Gamay.

Coteaux de Die wine appellation

The Coteaux de Die is an appellation covering some 32 communes in the Drome valley east of the city of Lyon. This appellation only permits the production of still white wines made from the Clairette grape.

Coteaux de l'Aubance wine appellation

Coteaux de l'Aubance is a small wine appellation (191 hectares) in the Loire region of France which gained appellation status in February 1950. This appellation surrounds the village of Brissac-Quincé and borders the Aubance River which is a small tributary of the Loire. It produces only sweet white wines made from Chenin Blanc vines that grow in schist soils.

Coteaux du Giennois wine appellation

Coteaux du Giennois is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France. It is a recent appellation having been granted AOC status in 1998. The appellation covers 184 hectares in two departments (Loiret and Nièvre) in the communes of Beaulieu-sur-Loire, Bonny-sur-Loire, Briare, Gien, Ousson-sur-Loire, Thou, Alligny-Cosne, La Celle-sur-Loire, Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire, Myennes, Neuvy-sur-Loire, Pougny, Saint-Loup and Saint-Père.

Some interesting white wines made only from Sauvignon Blanc are produced here along with some less interesting reds and roses made from a mixture of Pinot Noir and Gamay (each must comprise at least 20%). The appellation is centered on the village of Gien which lies to the north of Pouilly-sur-Loire.

Coteaux du Layon wine appellation

Coteaux du Layon is an appellation in the Loire Valley in France that produces incredibly sumptuous sweet white wines from the Chenin Blanc grape. The appellation covers 27 communes, six of which can display the village name on the wine label (there is a tighter production limit for these villages at 30 hl/ha rather than the 35 hl/ha permitted elsewhere). A great example is that produced by Domaine Philippe Delesvaux whose vineyard can be found in the Saint-Aubin-de-Luigne municipality in the Maine-et-Loire département in the Loire Valley.

Coteaux du Loir wine appellation

Coteaux du Loir is a small wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France. It is part of the broader Touraine appellation. Red, white and rose wines are produced here. The whites are produced from Chenin Blanc and the reds from Pineau d'Aunis, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Gamay. The rose is produced from the same grapes as the red wines except that Grolleau can also be used up to a maximum of 25%.

The appellation is spread across six communes in the Indre-et-Loire département and another thirteen in the neighbouring Sarthe département. The communes lie on both sides of the Loir River which is a tributary of the Loire (via the Sarthe River, which in turn is a tributary of the Maine River which flows into the Loire).

Coteaux du Lyonnais wine appellation

Coteaux du Lyonnais is a wine appellation that lies to the west of the city of Lyon. The appellation permits the production of red, rose and white wines in some 49 communes. White wines can be made from Aligote or chardonnay with some Pinot Blanc also being permitted. Red wines are made from the Gamay grape with varietals Gamay de Bouze and Gamay de Chaudenay also being permitted.

Coteaux du Quercy wine appellation

Coteaux ddu Quercy is a recently elevated AOC in the Tarn and Lot regions of south-west France. Only red wines and rose wines are permitted here. Wines are principally made from Cabernet Franc with the addition of the complementary grapes Cot, Merlot and Tannat. Cabernet Franc must comprise between 40% and 60% of the blend. Each of the other varieties used must not exceed 25% of the blend.

Grignan-les-Adhémar (formerly Coteaux du Tricastin) wine appellation

Grignan-les-Adhémar (formerly Coteaux du Tricastin) is a wine appellation covering 2566 hectares in the southern Rhone region of France west of Nyon but on the eastern side of the Rhone. It is sandwiched between the Enclave du Papes and the Rhone in the Drome. Its southern border is the boundary with Vaucluse. Mainly red wines are produced here but rose and white wines are permitted.

Coteaux du Vendômois wine appellation

Coteaux du Vendomois is a 142 hectare wine appellation in the beautiful Loire Valley in France known for the white wines produced from Chenin Blanc and reds from Pineau d'Aunis. You will also find the unique Vin Gris here. It gained AOC status in 2001 and is located mainly east of the town of Vendome stretching along both banks of the Loir River which is a tributary of the Loire.

For red wines, Pineau d'Aunis must represent at least 40% of plantings. Other grape varieties permitted subject to planting restrictions are Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gamay. The Vin Gris that this area is famous and must be made from 100% Pineau d'Aunis. White wines are made from Chenin Blanc supplemented by Chardonnay.

Coteaux Varois en Provence

Coteaux Varois en Provence (previously called Coteaux Varois) covers a large part of the département in Provence called the Var. It is centered on the unprepossessing town of Brignoles. There is a wide variety of wine produced under this appellation ranging from poor to excellent in quality. Some of the wines represent excellent value for money.

Red wines are a blend of at least two of the grapes Grenache, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah which must comprise at least 80% of the blend. The remainder can be made up using Carignan, Tibouren and Cabernet Sauvignon. The white wines are blended from Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rolle (which must comprise at least 30% of the blend), Sémillon Blanc (which must not exceed 30% of the blend) and Ugni Blanc (must not exceed 25%).

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Cotes d'Auvergne wine appellation

The Côtes d'Auvergne is an recently elevated AOC wine appellation that lies in central France just to the west of the Beaujolais appellation. Some maintain that it is a part of the greater Loire area.

There are five crus (small parcels of superior terroir that lead to the possibility of better wine) where lower yields are demanded. These are Boudes (which lies in the southernmost part of the appellation), Corent, Chanturgue, Châteaugay and Madargues (the northernmost) and it is permitted to display these names on the wine label.

Read more about the Côtes d'Auvergne wine appellation

Côtes de Bergerac wine appellation

Cotes de Bergerac is a red wine appellation in the Dordogne region of south west France. The wines of the Cotes de Bergerac appellation are produced under stricter rules than those of the broader Bergerac AOC with grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The wines can be produced anywhere in the Bergerac appellation but have to meet the quality standards defined for the appellation.

Côtes de Bordeaux wine appellation

Coming soon!

Côtes de Bordeaux-Saint-Macaire wine appellation

This Bordeaux appellation was first established in July 1937 so is among the first appellations established in this area.

Only white wines made from made from Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and  Sémillon are permitted in this appellation.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Côtes de Bourg wine appellation

The Cotes de Bourg wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France lies approximately 30 kilometres north of the city of Bordeaux. The appellation was one of the first established in France. It was officially established as an appellation for red wines on the 11th September 1936 and for white wines on the 14th May 1941.

Here, red wines are made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc and white wines are made from Semillon, Muscadelle, Colombard, Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.

Côtes de Duras wine appellation

Cotes de Duras is a wine appellation in the South West France region of France not too far from the famous Bordeaux wine region. The permitted grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec for red wines and Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc for white wines. Some of the Sauvignon Blanc wines produced here are excellent value for money.

Côtes de Montravel wine appellation

The Côtes de Montravel wine appellation is a more restrictive appellation than the Montravel appellation which covers 14 communes whereas this appellation only covers parts of nine of them. In addition, this appellation is only for the production of still white wines whereas the broader Montravel appellation covers both red and white wines. The appellation was first declared in 1937.

Wines are made from Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Sémillon with small (<10%) amounts of Ondenc being permitted.

Côtes de Provence wine appellation

The Cotes de Provence wine appellation is the largest appellation in Provence and was first recognised in October 1977. The main areas of production are the southern strip from St Tropez to Toulon, the central area around Les Arcs and the slopes to the north of Draguignan.

This appellation is home to some very good wines with some of the rose wines being outstanding examples of the genre. There are also some excellent red and white wines produced here. We have enjoyed some excellent wines from Commanderie de Peyrassol at Le Luc, Domaine de La Courtade (which is on the Ile de Porquerolles) and Chateau Minuty at Gassin near St Tropez.

The principal grapes for red wines are Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Tibouren. These are supported by the secondary grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Clairette, Semillon, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino (usually called Rolle in Provence). The last four are white grapes but small quantities of white wine are often added to red wines in France. Under some circumstances Barbaroux and Calitor can also be used.

The principal grapes for white wines are Clairette, Semillon, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino (Rolle).

Côtes de Toul wine appellation

Cotes de Toul is a wine appellation in the Lorraine region of France situated in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département near the city of Nancy in the north east of the country.

This appellation is becoming well known for the Vin Gris or 'grey' wines that are produced here. These are a style similar to rose but with the method of production seeing little contact of the grape skins with the juice leading to quite a pale colour of the wine. The 'gris' wines are a mixture of Pinot Noir, the white grape Auxerrois and Gamay. There are also red wines (based on Pinot Noir), white wines (based on the Auxerrois grape) and sparkling wines permitted in the appellation.

Côtes du Forez wine appellation

Cotes du Forez wine appellation in the Loire region of France It is the first appellation in the Loire when you trace the river from its source in the Ardeche mountains.

In fact, although it is considered part of the Loire it probably has a closer geographical affinity to the Burgundy region. The vineyards are planted at 200 to 350 metres above sea level on granitic soil which, of course, favours the Gamay grape which is the only permitted variety in the appellation.

Cotes du Forez was promoted from VDQS to full AOC status in 2000.

Côtes du Jura wine appellation

Cotes du Jura is a wine appellation in the Jura region of France. Wines here are made from grapes such as Trousseau, Pinot Noir and Poulsard for red wines and Savagnin and Chardonnay for white wines.

Côtes du Marmandais wine appellation

Cotes du Marmandais is a wine appellation in the South West region of France permitting the production of red, rose and white wines. It gets its name from the village of Marmande. It was first established in April 1990.

The appellation covers 27 communes of which 18 are on the right bank of the Garonne River around Beaupuy and 9 on the left bank surrounding Cocumont.

The main permitted red grape varieties are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot supported by Abouriou, Malbec, Fer, Gamay and Syrah. The main varieties are limited to 75% of the blend with the supporting varieties limited to 50%.

The main white wine variety is Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris supported by Muscadelle and Semillon.

Côtes du Rhône wine appellation

The best known appellation in the Rhone Valley is the massive Cotes du Rhone which covers much of the west of Vaucluse, then across the Rhone into the Gard and then up towards the northern areas of Hermitage, Cornas, finishing at the city of Vienne. As with Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the main grape is Grenache which must comprise at least 40% of the blend. It is supported by Shiraz (Syrah) and Mourvèdre and small quantities (less than 30% total) of Carignan, Cinsaut Counoise, Muscardin, Camarèse, Vaccarèse, Picpoul Noir, Terret Noir, Grenache Gris and Clairette Rose. Small quantities of white grapes can also be used to make red wine but the amount used must be below 5%. The white wines used are Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Viognier, Roussanne and secondary grapes Picpoul Blanc and Ugni Blanc.

Côtes du Rhône Villages wine appellation

The Côtes du Rhone Villages is a special appellation that lies within the broader Côtes du Rhone appellation. There are two levels to this special appellation. Wines produced in 76 villages throughout the Côtes du Rhone appellation can append the word Villages to the Côtes du Rhone indicating that the wine is of a higher quality than the normal wines of the area. In addition, there are fourteen villages that are also able to append the name of the village, thus indicating superior quality. There used to be fifteen villages in this category, however the village of Beaumes de Venise has recently been elevated to the same level as Gigondas and Vacqueyras.

The villages that can use their own names are: Cairanne, Chusclan, Laudun, Rasteau, Roaix, Rochegude, Rousset-les-Vignes, Sablet, Saint-Gervais, Saint-Maurice-sur-Eygues, Saint-Pantaleon les Vignes, Seguret, Valreas, Vinsobres and Visan.

Thus, wines produced within the area of the village of Seguret can have the words Côtes du Rhone Villages Seguret on the label. The main grape types of this appellation are Grenache, Carignan, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Terret Noir, and Shiraz for red wines and Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Muscardin, Picardan, Roussanne and Picpoul for white wines.

Cotes du Rhone Cairanne wine appellation

We have used the Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne appellation as an example of the best appellations of the Cotes du Rhone Villages (named village) appellations.

Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne

Côtes du Roussillon wine appellation

Cotes du Roussillon is a significant wine appellation in southern France covering over 100 communes radiating out from the southern city of Perpignan. The rules for this appellation are a little complex with many grape varieties allowed yet restrictions placed on the percentages of each.

Red wines are permitted to use Carignan, Grenache, Lladonner, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and Maccabeu. Carignan must comprise less than 60% of the blend while Syrah and Mourvedre combined must be greater than 20%. Maccabeu must not exceed 10% except in the rose where it can comprise up to 30%.

White wines are vinified from a combination of some or all of Grenache Blanc, Maccabeu, Rolle (Vermentino), Tourbat, Marsanne and Roussanne.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages wine appellation

The Cotes du Roussillon Villages appellation covers 32 communes in the area around Perpignan in the southern corner of France. The appellation is reserved for red wines only.

Wines can be made from the principal grape varieties Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah with Lledoner Pelut being permitted as a supporting variety. Blending is required with at least two principal grape varieties being required and at least 80% of the blend coming from the principal grape varieties.

Four villages are permitted to attach their name to the appellation name. These are Caramany, Latour-de-France, Lesquerde and Tautavel. The rules vary slightly within these villages. For example in wines labelled Cotes du Roussillon Caramany or Lesquerde no Mourvedre is permitted.

Côtes du Vivarais wine appellation

Cotes du Vivarais wine appellation in the Rhone region of France straddling the départements of Ardeche and Gard. The appellation covers the communes of Orgnac, Saint-Montan, Saint-Remèze, Lagorce, Vinezac, Gras, Larnas, Bidon and La Bastide-de-Virac in the Ardeche and Barjac, Issirac, St-Privat-de-Champclos, Montclus and Le Garn in the Gard. Red wines must comprise at least 30% of Grenache Noir and at least 40% of Syrah. Carignan and Cinsaut can also be included but must each not be more than 10% of the blend. White wines have more than 50% of Grenache Blanc and can include both Clairette and Marsanne.

Cour-Cheverny wine appellation

The Cour-Cheverny is a 48 hectare wine appellation in the Loire Valley north east of Tours. The vineyards are scattered in small parcels over 11 communes in the Loir-et-Cher département (Cellettes, Cheverny, Chitenay, Cormeray, Cour-Cheverny, Huisseau-sur-Cosson, Mont-près-Chambord, Montlivault, Saint-Claude-de-Diray, Tour-en-Sologne and Vineuil).

It is a young appellation having been proclaimed in 1993. It is of some interest to wine enthusiasts as only white wine is produced from the little known Romorantin grape.

The Romorantin grape has grown in the Loire Valley since the sixteenth century. It makes crisp, acidic, minerally white wines. Some, such as the Cour-Cheverny from Herve Villemade exhibit alluring oxidative characteristics that remind us of a Jura wine. It is very complex, very deep and very delicious.

The grape is also used as a minor element of some wines of Valencay which adjoins the Touraine appellation on its south east border.

Crémant de Bordeaux wine appellation

The Cremant de Bordeaux appellation was recognised in 1990 for the production of sparkling white and rose wines.

It is interesting that the white sparkling wines can be made from red grapes as the legal varieties are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cot, Merlot, Muscadelle, Petit Verdot, Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris with minor additions of Colombard, Merlot Blanc and Ugni Blanc.

The rose wines are made from similar grape varieties.

Crémant de Bourgogne

Cremant de Bourgogne is a recently recognised appellation having been elevated to AOC status in 1975. Sparkling whites and roses are permitted under this appellation.

The rose wines must contain one or more of the grapes Gamay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The white wines must use Aligote or Chardonnay or Melon de Bourgogne or Pinot Blanc or Sacy.

Crémant de Die wine appellation

Cremant de Die is a wine appellation in the Rhone region of France that was formerly encompassed in the Clairette de Die appellation. It is an appellation reserved for the production of sparkling white wines.

It lies to the east of the Rhone and the city of Lyon in the Drome département and produces some very interesting sparkling wines from the Muscat a Petit Grains and Clairette grapes.

The appellation rules dictate that Clairette must comprise at least 55% of the blend and the Muscat a Petit Grains between 5% and 10% with Aligote not more than 10%.

Crémant de Limoux wine appellation

Cremant de Limoux is a wine appellation for the production of fine sparkling wine near the city of Limoux in southern France.  It was proclaimed as an AOC in August 1990.

The term Cremant is used to refer to sparkling wines produced outside the boundaries of the Champagne area.

Cremant de Limoux can be made from Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc with Mauzac and Pinot Noir being secondary grape varieties.

The appellation rules also apply to the area planted. Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc cannot exceed 90% of the planted area and Chenin Blanc must be present and must comprise between 20% and 40% of the plantings.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Crémant de Loire wine appellation

Cremant de Loire is a wine appellation for the production of sparkling wine in parts of the Loire Valley in France. The term Cremant is used to describe sparkling wines that are produced outside the boundaries of the Champagne region.

The wine can be produced in the areas designated by the appellations Anjou, Cheverny, Saumur, and Touraine.

The permitted grape varieties are Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineau d'Aunis, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Menu Pineau, Grolleau Noir and Grolleau Gris.

Crémant du Jura wine appellation

Cremant du Jura is a wine appellation in the Jura region of France producing interesting sparkling wines. The term Cremant is used for any dry sparkling wine produced outside the Champagne production area. The wines are usually a blend of Savagnin, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc with Trousseau, Pinot Noir and Poulsard also being permitted.

Cremant d'Alsace wine appellation

This is a very broad appellation covering 119 communes and over 6000 hectares in the Alsace. Cremant d'Alsace can be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Riesling, Tokay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet wine appellation

Criots Batard-Montrachet is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering only the commune of Chassagne-Montrachet which lies near the junction of the N74 and the N6 south of the city of Beaune. It was first proclaimed in 1939. Still white wines using only the Chardonnay grape can be made in this appellation.

Crozes-Hermitage or Crozes-Ermitage wine appellation

Crozes-Hermitage is a significant wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France where red wines crafted from the Syrah grape, sometimes blended with small quantities of permissible white grapes, exhibit an elegance not achieved outside the northern Rhone.

The communes on the eastern side of the Rhone that comprise the extent of the appellation are Beaumont-Monteux, Chanos-Curson, Crozes-Hermitage, Érôme, Gervans, Larnage, Mercurol, Pont-de-l'Isère, La Roche-de-Glun, Serves-sur-Rhône and Tain-l'Hermitage.

Echezeaux wine appellation

Echezeaux is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France from grapes grown in the communes of Flagey-Echezeaux and Vosne-Romanee that was first proclaimed in 1937. Still red wines made from Pinot Noir with small additions of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc are permitted here.

Entre-deux-Mers wine appellation

The Entre-Deux-Mers wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France has traditionally been regarded as a lesser area, but is now producing some very smart wines. It was first established on the 31st July 1937.

The name is somewhat of a contradiction as it does not lie between two seas but between two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne.

It is a white wine only appellation. The white grapes that are permitted comprise Muscadelle, Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris as the principal varieties, supported by Colombard, Mauzac, Merlot Blanc and Ugni Blanc.

There are some rules that apply to the proportion of grapes used here. The principal grape varieties must comprise at least 70% of the blend. Merlot Blanc (a rarely found grape) must not exceed 30% of the blend. Colombard, Mauzac and Ugni Blanc must not comprise more than 10% of the blend.

Faugères wine appellation

Faugeres is a wine appellation in southern France lying inland from Beziers including the communes of Autignac, Cabrerolles, Caussiniojouls, Faugères, Fos, Laurens and Roquessels. The appellation permits the production of red, rose and white wines.

The main grapes used for red wines here are Carignan and Cinsaut which can be used up to a maximum of 40% and 20% respectively. Other grape varieties permitted are Grenache, Lldoner Pelut, Mourvedre and Syrah.

White wines are vinified from Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Rolle (Vermentino), Clairette, Bourboulenc, Maccabeu and Carignan Blanc.

Fitou wine appellation

Fitou is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France based around the villages of Tuchan and Fitou and covering the communes of Cascastel-des-Corbières, Caves, Fitou, Leucate, La Palme, Paziols, Treilles, Tuchan and Villeneuve-les-Corbières. Dark, red wines are produced here.

The permitted grape varieties are Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah with Lladoner also being permitted. Carignan must comprise at least 30% of the blend and Carignan, Grenache and Lladoner together must exceed 70%. Grenache and Lladoner together must exceed 30% and Syrah and Mourvedre must exceed 10%.

Fiefs Vendeens wine appellation

The Fiefs Vendeens wine appellation is one of the newest in France having been promoted to AOC status in 2011. It lies just below the Loire Valley on the west coast of France. It is not too far from the Muscadet appellation. The appellation is divided into four distinct sub-appellations (called denominations) called Pissotte, Mareuil, Brem and Vix. Pissotte and Vix are tiny areas to the north and south of Fontenay-Le-Comte in the west of the Vendée and cover the area of the communes of the same name. The other two are larger areas closer to the coast near Les Sables d'Olonne in the case of Brem and to the south of La Roche sur Yon in the case of Mareuil.

As you drive south from the city of Nantes the terrain flattens and the plains look like they battle against winds sweeping in from the Atlantic. Salt smells fill the air.

The vines that line the roads here are deliberately stunted. They crouch low to the ground so the winds cannot wreak havoc. Soils range from sodden clay to beautiful, striated ancient schist that imparts an incredible mineral flavour to the grapes that thrive on these difficult soils.

The appellation allows red, white and rose wines. The whites are made from Chenin Blanc with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc also allowed and the reds and rose from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay Noir and Negrette.

Read more about the Fiefs Vendeens wine appellation

Fixin wine appellation

Fixin is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the communes of Brochon and Fixin which was first elevated to AOC status in December 1936. Still white wines and still red wines may be produced here. White wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc (Pinot Gris used to be permitted but this grape variety was removed in Decret 2011-1786 issued on th 5th December 2011). Red wines are made principally from Pinot Noir but the reds can have small quantities of the three white grapes in them.

There are 6 'climats' in Fixin that qualify for Premier Cru status. These are Clos de la Perriere, Clos Napoleon, Clos du Chapitre, Les Miex Bas, Arvelets and Hervelets. Wine made from these plots can have the word Fixin followed by Premier Cru, followed by the name of the climat on the label.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Fleurie wine appellation

Fleurie is a leading wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France which produces floral red wines from the Gamay grape in the characteristic granitic soils.

There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

The wines here are forged from the granitic soils to produce what the French call a 'feminine wine'. We think of it as an elegant, restrained wine similar to those to the north at Chambolle-Musigny where restraint and elegance win out over muscular, tannic wines.

Fronsac wine appellation

Fronsac is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France. The appellation covers wines made in the communes of Fronsac, Galgon, La Riviere, Saillans, Saint-Aignan, Saint-Germain-de-la-Riviere and Saint-Michel-de-Fronsac which all lie on the north bank of the Dordogne River. The appellation status was originally granted in 1937.

The appellation covers the production of red wine only and the permitted grapes are the standard Bordeaux varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon as the principal varieties and Malbec (Cot), Carmenere and Petit Verdot as minor varieties. The wine must consist of at least 80% of the principal varieties. Neither Carmenere nor Petit Verdot can comprise more than 10% of the blend.

Fronton wine appellation

The Fronton wine appellation in south west France to the north of Toulouse and to the south of Montauban was formerly called Cotes du Frontonnais but has recently been changed to the shorter title.

The vines are tended on terraces that lie between the rivers Tarn and Garonne.

The appellation covers red and rose wines. The main grape variety used in this appellation is the dark-red, spicy Negrette which must comprise more than 50% of the area planted and less than 70%. It is supported by a wide range of other varieties including Gamay, Merille, Cinsaut, Mauzac, Malbec, Fer, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Gaillac wine appellation

Gaillac is a large and interesting wine appellation in the Tarn department in south west France. It covers over 2500 hectares in 73 communes.

AOC status was granted for the production of white wines in 1938. The AOC was extended to cover the red wines in 1970.

The white wines are labelled Gaillac Blanc and must comprise one of the grape types Len de l'El or Sauvignon Blanc, or a blend of the two. Other permitted grape varieties are Mauzac, Mauzac Rose, Muscadelle, Ondenc and Semillon.

The red wines are labelled Gaillac Rouge and are made from the grape types Duras, Fer Servadou or Syrah. Other permitted varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Prunelard and Merlot.

Gamay can be the only grape variety for Gaillac Primeur which is a wine made in a similar style to Beaujolais Primeur.

An AOC Gaillac Rose can also be produced.

AOC Gaillac Perle is another variation on the Gaillac AOC and is a sparkling wine produced in a similar way to Methode Ancestrale wines such as those produced in Bugey or Limoux. Here, this bottle fermented wine does not see the additional of sugar but relies on secondary fermentation in the bottle. Only the Len de l'El and Mauzac grapes are used for this wine.

Gaillac premières côtes wine appellation

Whereas the Gaillac AOC covers many communes, this higher level appellation sees only white wines being produced in eleven communes.

Gevrey-Chambertin wine appellation

Gevrey-Chambertin is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the communes of Brochon and Gevrey-Chambertin. It was first proclaimed in September 1936. The name of the appellation can appear on the label followed by the words Premier Cru if the grapes were grown in nominated 'climats'. Only red wines made from Pinot Noir supplemented by small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are permitted. The wines from this appellation are of a very high quality.

Gigondas wine appellation

The Gigondas appellation lies to the north of Carpentras on the western slopes of the fabulously jagged Dentelles de Montmirail. Gigondas was given its own appellation status in 1971 due to the increasing reputation of the powerful reds produced here. Previously it had Côtes du Rhône Villages (named village) status.

The village of Gigondas itself is a picture postcard perfect location and well-worth a visit.
The wines are mainly red with a few rosés based on mainly Grenache (80% is now allowed up from the previous 65%) blended with Cinsaut, Mourvèdre, and Shiraz. No whites are permitted under this appellation.

Another quirk of this appellation is that the percentages relate to planting not the amount of various grapes in a given wine. Thus Shiraz and Mourvèdre vines must constitute at least 15% of the plantings but there is no requirement that this same percentage appears in a given wine.

Other red grapes permitted in the broader Cotes du Rhone area are permitted but cannot exceed 10%. The one exception is Carignan which is not permitted at all in this appellation.

Givry wine appellation

Givry is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France in the area known as the Cote Chalonnais. It is one of five appellation within the Cote Chalonnais along with Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey and Montagny. Both stilll red and white wines are permitted in the Givry appellation and some of the climats are designated as Premier Cru. The red wines are made from Pinot Noir but up to 15% Chardonnay may be added. White wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc.

Grand Roussillon wine appellation

Grand Roussillon is a wine appellation in southern France covering many communes radiating out from the southern city of Perpignan. This appellation, which was first proclaimed in 1957, permits the production of vins doux naturels in red, white and rose formats.

The wines must include at least 80% of the following grapes varieties, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Macabeu and Tourbat. The remainder of the blend can be from Muscat à Petits Grains or Muscat d'Alexandrie (which is known locally as Muscat Romain) provided they constitute less than 20% of the blend.

The grapes must be picked when they have a minimum of 252 grams of sugar per litre.

Grands-Echezeaux wine appellation

Grands-Echezeaux is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which was first recognised in July, 1937 for the production of still red wines in the communes of Flagey-Echezeaux and Vosne-Romanee. As with most of the red wine appellations in this area the wines must be made from Pinot Noir, but small amount of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris can be added to the blend.

This appellation produces some very fine, elegant wines.

Graves wine appellation

Graves is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France that is quite close to the famous city of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Garonne River which produces red, white and sweet wines. It was granted AOC status in March 1937.

The Graves region which covers some 3000 hectares has long been loved by the aristocracy in England who called the wines from this area 'claret'.

Red wines can be made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cot, Merlot and Petit Verdot. White wines are made from Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon.

Sub-regions of Graves include Pessac-Leognan, Sauternes and Barsac and also Cerons.

Some beautiful sweet white wines and bold red wines are produced in this region.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Graves de Vayres wine appellation

Graves de Vayres is a wine appellation on the left bank of the Gironde in the Bordeaux region of France where red and white wines are permitted. Some 700 hectares of gravel soil within the Entre-Deux-Mers subregion of Bordeaux are given over to this appellation. The communes of Arveyres and Vayres are the focus of the wine production. Here the gravel soils and warming sunlight allow Merlot to ripen. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are also permitted here.

Graves Supérieures wine appellation

Graves Superieures is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France lying south east of the city of Bordeaux which produces sweet white wines in its the sandy gravel soil that typifies this appellation. The main grapes used in this appellation are Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Griotte-Chambertin wine appellation

Griotte-Chambertin is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France based on the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin which is reserved for still red wines.
Wines are made from Pinot Noir supplemented by small quantities of the three main white grape varieties of the region namely Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Haut-Médoc wine appellation

Haut-Medoc is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France covering about 29 communes in the Gironde. It was first established as an appellation in 1936.
This appellation allows the production of still red wines only.
Interestingly, the grapes that are allowed include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cot, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Haut-Montravel wine appellation

Haut-Montravel is a white wine appellation in the South West region of France covering the communes of Fougueyrolles, Nastringues, Port-Sainte-Foy-et-Ponchapt, Saint-Antoine-de-Breuilh and Vélines.
This appellation is famous for the sweet wines produced primarily from Semillon and some Sauvignon Blanc with Muscadelle also being permitted. The sweetness is derived from the partial drying of the grapes before vinification commences.
Haut Montravel wines can adopt the additional 'liquoreux' denomination when Noble Rot affects the grapes.

Haut-Poitou wine appellation

Haut-Poitou has recently been elevated to full AOC status. This is a very large appellation north of the city of Poitou covering 40 communes. The production of red wines, white wines and rose wines is permitted. White wines are made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc grape varieties. Red and rose wines are made from Pinot Noir, Gamay, Merlot, Cot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grolleau.

Hermitage or Ermitage or l'Hermitage or l'Ermitage wine appellation

Hermitage is a leading wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France that was established in March 1937. Both red and wines are permitted under the rules of the appellation and some white wines can append 'vin de paille' to the label as well.
Vin de Paille is a traditional wine making technique where very ripe grapes are carefully sorted and then left to dry on a bed of straw (straw = paille) for up to two month before wine making commences.
The only red grape permitted in this appellation is Syrah, although red wines can have small amounts of the white grapes Marsanne and Roussanne added provided they do not, together, exceed 15%.
Marsanne and Roussanne are the permitted varieties for white wines including 'vin de paille' whites.

Irancy wine appellation

Irancy is a new red wine only appellation covering the communes of Cravant , Irancy and Vincelottes adjoining the Chablis region of France. Producers have been able to label their wine Irancy AC since 19th February 1999.
The allowable grape varieties are Pinot Noir and up to 10% Cesar - a red grape variety that is occasionally used in northern Burgundy - and Pinot Gris.

Irouléguy wine appellation

Irouleguy is a wine appellation in south west France in the Basque region quite close to the Spanish border. The area is one of breathtaking beauty with the vineyard terraces clinging to the sides of the steep mountains that loom over the countryside.

Jasnieres wine appellation

Jasnieres is a small wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France covering just 65 hectares. Aromatic white wines are produced from the Chenin Blanc grape.
The appellation covers the communes of Lhomme and Ruillé-sur-Loir in the south-east section of the Sarthe département. The vineyards lie of the right bank of the Loir river (this is a tributary of the better known Loire).
There are some very good white wines produced in this appellation by the two dozen producers who tend the vines here. The wines tend towards a golden yellow colour which deepens with age. In some years some very interesting sweet wines are produced here which have the capacity to last for decades.

Read more about the Jasnieres wine appellation

Juliénas wine appellation

Julienas is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France which produces red wines that are somewhat different in character to those from surrounding areas due to the presence of clay soils as opposed to the more common granite soils of the region.
There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

Jurançon wine appellation

Jurancon is a small wine appellation (167 hectares) in the South West France region of France in the shadow of the Pyrenees where delicious, unctuous sweet wines are produced along with bone dry white wines.
The grape varieties allowed in this appellation are Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng supported by Courbu, Petit Corbu, Camaralet and Lauzet. The last two grape varieties are limited to 15% of the plantings whereas the first two can comprise up to 98%.
While the yield per hectare is quite high for Jurancon sec (60 hl/ha) it is lower for Jurancon at 40 hl/ha.

La Grande Rue wine appellation

La Grande Rue is a famous, small, Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France. It covers a mere 1.65 hectares just over the road from the even more famous La Romanee and La Romanee Conti appellations. The vineyards fall within the famous commune of Vosne-Romanee and only red wines made from Pinot Noir can be produced here.

La Romanée wine appellation

La Romanée is a wine appellation on the outskirts of the pretty town of Beaune in the commune of Vosne-Romanée in the Burgundy region of France. It is famous for being the smallest appellation in France with the total extent of the appellation being a tiny .84 hectares.

La Romanée was first established as an appellation on the 11th September 1936. The appellation is for red wines only.

Pinot Noir is the principal grape variety supported by Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. While these secondary varieties are white grapes they can only be used in the red wine up to a maximum of 15% of the blend.

Read more about the La Romanee appellation

La Tâche wine appellation

La Tache is a small Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France in the commune of Vosne-Romanee. La Tache is separated from the La Romanee appellation by the La Grande Rue appellation. La Tache shares the same brown limestone soils as La Grande Rue. The appellation covers 5.03 hectares.

Ladoix wine appellation

Ladoix is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which permits both red and white wines. The white wines are made from Chardonnay and/or Pinot Blanc with up to 10% of Pinot Gris being permitted. The red wines are made from Pinot Noir with the optional addition of a little Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris.
The grapes must be grown in the twin village commune of Ladoix-Serrigny which lies a few kilometres north-east of the city of Beaune.

Lalande-de-Pomerol wine appellation

Lalande de Pomerol is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France covering the communes of Lalande-de-Pomerol and Neac. The appellation was first established in December 1936 and is reserved for still red wines. It is situated on the right bank of the Dordogne River immediately above the Pomerol appellation. It covers 1138 hectares and produces about 50,000 hectolitres per annum.
Wines can be made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot (Malbec) and Merlot. Carmenere and Petit Verdot may be used but must not exceed more than 10% of the blend. Merlot is the grape most favoured in this area.
Wines from this appellation are characterised by the deep ruby red colour and velvety texture provided by the Merlot which thrives in the clay and sand soils here. The soils also have a significant quantity of iron called 'crasse de fer' by the locals which contributes to the minerality of the wine.

Languedoc wine appellation

Languedoc (formerly Coteaux du Languedoc) is a broad wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France extending from near Nimes in the Gard department right down through the Aude, Herault and Pyrénées-Orientales to the Spanish border past Collioure.
The appellation covers 5 communes in the Aude department, 144 in the Hérault and 19 in the Gard. The appellation was initially created in December 1985 under the name Coteaux du Languedoc.
Red, rose and white wines can be produced. The white grapes that can be used are Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Piquepoul, Roussanne, Tourbat and Vermentino along with Carignan Blanc, Macabeu, Terret Blanc and Viognier.
Red wines can be made from Grenache, Lledoner pelut, Mourvedre and Syrah supported by Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise, Grenache Gris, Morrastel (the same as the Rioja grape Graciano), Piquepoul, Rivairenc (an ancient, indigenous grape also called Aspiran) and Terret Noir.
Rose wines can be made from most of the red and white grapes above.

Latricières-Chambertin wine appellation

Latricieres-Chambertin is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which was first proclaimed in July 1937. As you head north through Gevrey-Chambertin on the Routes des Grands Crus, Latricieres is the first Grand Cru climat you find on the left side of the road.
The higher slopes are covered in alluvial deposits and the lower slopes fossilised Jurassic limestones.
The wines here are made from Pinot Noir and they are deep red and quite powerful and long lasting.

Les Baux de Provence wine appellation

Les Baux-de-Provence is a wine appellation in Provence near the hilltop village of the same name which was established in April 1995. This beautiful village looks out over plains which are covered with olive groves and vineyards given over to the production of high-quality red wines. The entire area is stunningly beautiful and we return year after year to revel in the stark wonder of this secret part of Provence.

And there is something else beautiful which has just occurred here. Les Baux de Provence is now the first appellation in France that insists that vineyards are tended organically. No pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or artificial fertilizers are allowed in the appellation!
The appellation covers the communes of Les Baux-de-Provence, Fontvieille, Maussane-les-Alpilles, Mouriès, Paradou, Saint-Etienne-du-Grès and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and permits the production of red and rose wines and recently, white wines.

White wines were not permitted under the rules of the appellation, however the INAO has recently made a decision to permit the production of white wines made from a variety of grapes. The principal grape varieties are Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Vermentino (Rolle) and Roussanne is classified as a complementary variety. Accessory varieties are Bourboulenc, Marsanne and Ugni Blanc. For white wines the principal varieties must comprise at least 60% of the blend with no single variety exceeding 70% and at least two principal varieties must be present. Roussanne must comprise between 10% and 30% of the blend and the total of the accessory varieties must be less than the percentage of Roussanne used. Now that's all clear isn't it!
The red grapes that are permitted include the principal grapes of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah supported by Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise and Cabernet Sauvignon.
For rose wines the principal grapes are Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah supported by the other red wines from the appellation.

L'Etoile wine appellation

L'Etoile is a white wine appellation in the Jura region of France in the communes of L'Étoile, Plainoiseau, Quintigny and Saint-Didier.
Wines here are produced from the permitted grapes of Chardonnay, Savagnin and Poulsard.

Vin de Paille and Vin Jaune are also permitted here.

Limoux wine appellation

Limoux is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France lying immediately south of Carcassonne. It was established in February 1959 for the production of still white and red wines but the production of sparkling wines here goes back to 1938.

This area is best known for its exciting sparkling 'cremant' wines but there is an appellation AC Limoux for still white and wines as well as a sparkling 'Blanquette' wine. White wines are made from the permitted grape varieties which are Mauzac, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. While Chardonnay is very popular in this appellation, Mauzac must comprise at least 15% of the blend.

It is more complicated for red wines. The permitted varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec (Cot), Syrah. Merlot must comprise at least 50% of the blend and together Grenache, Malbec and Syrah must comprise 30% of the blend. The use of Carignan was phased out in 2010.

In addition to these restrictions, the blend must contain at least three grape varieties but the two principal varieties must not exceed 90% of the blend.

Blanquette de Limoux is made from a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and the local Mauzac. Mauzac must be at least 90% of the blend.

If the wine is produced using the traditional méthode ancestrale technique then only Mauzac is permitted.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Lirac wine appellation

Lirac is a wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France which covers 619 hectares in the communes of Lirac, Roquemaure, Saint-Geniès-de-Comolas and Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres. The communes lie among the rolling hills on the western side of the Rhone almost directly opposite Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Red wines can be made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and Carignan. The rules about usage are somewhat convoluted. Grenache must comprise at least 40% of the blend, Syrah and Mourvèdre must represent a minimum of 25% of the blend and Cinsault and Carignan cannot exceed 10%!
White wines are made from Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc and Clairette. None of the white varieties can comprise more than 60% of the blend.

Listrac-Médoc wine appellation

Listrac-Medoc is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France which was proclaimed in 1957. It lies in the commune of the same name between the prestigious appellations of Margaux and Saint Julien on the left bank of the Gironde.
Powerful red wines made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are the norm here even though a little Cabernet Franc is sometimes added. The vines thrive in gravel soils that sit on limestone.

Loupiac wine appellation

Loupiac is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France on the right bank of the Garonne River just opposite the Barsac appellation. Like Barsac and Sauternes, the Loupiac appellation is also devoted to the production of sweet wines. It was first proclaimed in September 1936.
Wines from here are made mainly from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and are deep golden in colour and quite balanced by good acidity. Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris are also permitted but not relied on as much.

Luberon wine appellation

The Luberon wine appellation (previously known as Cotes du Luberon) spreads along the spine of hills that divide the Durance and Coulon rivers from L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue through to Apt, sweeping through communes such as Oppède, Menerbes, Lacoste, Bonnieux and the beautiful Lourmarin. It sits beside the Côtes du Rhône appellation and below the Ventoux appellation (roughly separated by the road that runs from L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue through to Apt).
It is a relatively recent appellation (1988), however, there is very serious money moving into the area and the wines here are causing some excitement in wine circles.

Read more about the Luberon wine appellation

Lussac-Saint-Emilion wine appellation

Lussac-Saint-Emilion is a red wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France that produces powerful, yet elegant red wines from Merlot and Cabernet France. Wines can only be produced from vines cultivated in the commune of Lussac. It lies on the right bank of the Dordogne slightly inland from Saint Emilion where the terroir is primarily clay and gravel and the appellation forms a somewhat natural amphitheatre facing south that enables the grapes to ripen well.

Mâcon wine appellation

Macon is a wine appellation in the southern part of the Burgundy region of France. The appellation is divided into a number of sub-appellations, namely Macon, Macon Village, Macon Superieur, Pouilly Fuisse, Pouilly Loche, Pouilly Vinzele and Saint Veran.
The white wines from here are made from Chardonnay and the reds from Gamay, Pinoit Noir and Pinot Gris.

Madiran wine appellation

Madiran is a wine appellation in south west France famous for its bold red wines. It covers 37 communes in the départements of Pyrénées Atlantiques, Hautes Pyrénées and Gers.
The most interesting wines are made from the highly tannic Tannat grape, but Cabernet Franc, Fer Servadou and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are also used. Tannat must comprise at least 40% of the blend.
Even though white wines are grown in the same area they are covered by another appellation, namely Pacherenc du Vic Bilh.

Malepère wine appellation

Malepere is an AOC wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France. The region has only recently been upgraded to full AOC status.
The appellation is based in the Aude département in the area from Donazac to Carcassonne to Montreal to Mazerolles covering some 31 communes. It is named after the Maleperes mountains which dominate the area.
The main grape varieties found in the wines of this appellation are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec (Cot), Grenache Noir, Syrah, Lledoner Pelut and Cinsault.

Maranges wine appellation

Maranges is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the communes of Cheilly-lès-Maranges, Dezize-lès-Maranges and Sampigny-lès-Maranges. Both red and white wines are permitted here although red production far outweighs that of white wine. Producers from these communes can alternatively label their wines under the Cote de Beaune-Villages appellation.

Marcillac wine appellation

Marcillac is a red wine and rose appellation in the South West region of France in the north west of the Aveyron region. It was first established in April 1990 and covers a mere 178 hectares lying south-west of the famous Laguiole and north-west of Millau with its famous viaduct.
The wines produced here can be quite tannic when young but can soften into quite perfumed, graceful reds within two or three years.
The principal grape variety is the red Mansois which is also known as Fer Servadou which must comprise 90% of the blend. The remaining 10% can comprise Prunelard, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Note that this list was updated recently (Decree 1284 in November 2009) removing Cabernet Franc from the permitted varieties. The inclusion of Prunelard is quite significant as it is an ancient and quite rare grape that is indigenous to the region and has only recently been permitted to be included in an AOC wine here and in the nearby Gaillac appellation.

Margaux wine appellation

Margaux is one of the first growth regions of Bordeaux and is one of the premium wine growing regions of the world. The area was first established as an AOC appellation in August 1954 although it had been recognised as a premium wine producing region well before that date. Only red wines are permitted here.
The permitted grape varieties are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec (Cot), Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Marsannay wine appellation

Marsannay is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which is unusual because the production of reds, whites and rose wines are permitted. The production of rose is not common in Burgundy. The communes where production is permitted are Chenove, Couchey and Marsannay-la-Cote. The appellation was established in 1987.
White wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc and a little Pinot Gris can be blended into either. Red wines are made from Pinot Noir with the possibility of blending small quantities of the white grapes as well. Rose can be made from Pinot Noir or Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.

Maury wine appellation

Maury is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France situated in the hills behind the city of Perpignan where fortified red wines are made from Grenache, Carignan and Macabeo Red wines and white wines are also produced here.

Red wines are made from Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris or Grenache Blanc and Macabeu The percentage of Grenache Noir must be greater than 75% and Macabeu must not exceed 10%.

White wines are made from Grenache Gris or Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, Tourbat, Muscat a Petit Grain and Muscat d'Alexandrie. Muscat must comprise less than 20% of the blend.

Mazis-Chambertin wine appellation

Mazis-Chambertin is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France in the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin. The appellation covers just 8.79 hectares and the wines are only red and must be made from Pinot Noir.

Mazoyères-Chambertin wine appellation

Mazoyeres-Chambertin is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France in the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin. The appellation covers just 1.72 hectares and the wines are only red and must be made from Pinot Noir.

Médoc wine appellation

Medoc is a red wine only wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France covering 52 communes in that area. The appellation was established in November 1936.
The red wines produced here are primarily made from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines can be supplemented by small amounts of Carmenère, Merlot, Malbec (known locally as Cot) and Petit Verdot.

Menetou-Salon wine appellation

Menetou-Salon is a wine appellation that lies in the beautiful Loire Valley in France bordering the famous Sancerre appellation. While the Sauvignon Blanc grape does not reach the same expression in this region, it still produces very serviceable wines that are worth seeking out. Red wines and roses are also produced here from Pinot Noir.
For a good example of a wine from this appellation try the Domaine Henri Pelle Morogues Menetou-Salon.

Mercurey wine appellation

Mercurey is a wine appellation in the Cote Chalonnaise region of Burgundy which lies south of the city of Beaune covering the communes of Mercurey and Saint-Martin-sous-Montaigu. This appellation is unusual because white wines can be made here from 100% Pinot Gris as well as Chardonnay. Red wines are made from Pinot Noir but a little Chardonnay can be added.

Meursault wine appellation

Meursault is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France that straddles the N74 a few kilometres south of the city of Beaune. It is confined to the commune of Meursault. Both still white and still red wines are permitted here.
The appellation was first proclaimed in 1937 and has become particularly famous for the bold white wines made from Chardonnay that are produced here.
White wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc but very few producers use the second grape here. Red wines are made from Pinot Noir with the optional addition of small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Minervois wine appellation

Minervois is a wine appellation covering 61 communes in the départements of Aude and Herault in the south of France. The appellation sits in a natural amphitheatre that rising from the banks of the river Aude. The appellation lies between the cities of Narbonne and Carcassonne and was established in 1985.
The appellation permits the production of red, rose and white wines. Red wines are made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Lledonner Pelut supported by Cinsault, Picpoul, Terret Noir, Carignan and Rivairenc. The rules stipulate that Grenache, Lledonner Pelut, Syrah and Mourvedre must comprise more than 60% with Syrah and Mourvedre comprising at least 20% to ensure that Grenache does not dominate. Picpoul, Terret Noir and Rivairenc must not comprise more than 10% of the blend.
Rose wines are made from the same grapes as the red wines but can also include up to 10% of the permitted white varieties.
The permitted white varieties for the appellation are Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Maccabeu, Marsanne, Roussanne and Rolle (Vermentino). Secondary grape varieties are Picpoul Blanc, Clairette, Terret Blanc and Muscat. The secondary varieties must comprise less than 20% with Muscat limited to less than 10%.

Minervois-La Livinière wine appellation

Minervois-La Liviniere is a wine appellation covering 6 communes in the départements of Aude and Herault in the south of France. The communes are Azillanet, Cesseras, Felines-Minervois, La Liviniere, Siran and Azille. The appellation sits in a natural amphitheatre that rising from the banks of the river Aude. The appellation lies between the cities of Narbonne and Carcassonne and was created in 1999.
The appellation is restricted to the production of red wines only unlike the broader Minervois appellation. Red wines are made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Lledonner Pelut supported by Cinsault, Picpoul, Terret Noir, Carignan and Rivairenc. The rules stipulate that together Grenache, Syrah, Lledonner Pelut and Mourvedre must comprise more than 60% with Syrah and Mourvedre comprising at least 40% to ensure that Grenache does not dominate.

Monbazillac wine appellation

Monbazillac is a wine appellation in the South West region of France where the sweet wines are blended from the permitted white grape varieties of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, It was established by decree in May 1936.
The appellation covers 1905 hectares in the communes of Colombier, Monbazillac, Pomport, Rouffignac-de-Sigoulès and Saint-Laurent-des-Vignes in the south-west corner of the department of Dordogne.
These wines develop honey and acacia characteristics quickly and can be drunk while quite young. However they also age beautifully and develop a considerable complexity.

Montagne-Saint-Emilion wine appellation

Montagne Saint-Emilion is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France lying between the appellations of Lussac-Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion on the right bank of the Dordogne River. It is an appellation for the production of red wines only from grapes grown in the commune of Montagne. It was established as an appellation in 1936.
The appellation benefits from an almost identical climate to its more famous neighbour and similar terroir with clay over porous limestone dominating here.
The permitted grape varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, but most producers use the first two as Cabernet Sauvignon is difficult to get to full ripeness here. Carmenere and Petit Verdot can be used in small quantities.

Montagny wine appellation

Montagny is a white wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France. It surrounds the village of Montagny which lies near the town of Chalon-sur-Saone.

The appellation lies within the larger Cote Chalonnaise (along with Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey and Givry) and produces white wine made from the Chardonnay grape.

Monthélie wine appellation

Monthelie is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France that includes 16 Premier Cru climats in the commune of Monthelie just a few kilometres south of Beaune. The appellation was established in 1937 and permits the production of both still red and still white wines.
Red wines dominate here with 106 hectares dedicated to red grapes and just 13 hectares given over to the production of white grapes.
The reds are somewhat similar to neighbouring Volnay with elegant tannic structure and a velvet mouth feel. The nutty, citrus white wines are highly prized for their elegance and structure and for their similarity to neighbouring Meursault wines. They also have the ability to age gracefully. The reds are made from Pinot Noir with the optional addition of a little Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. White wines can be made form either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc.

Montlouis-sur-Loire wine appellation

Montlouis-sue-Loire is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France and is a sub-appellation of the broader Touraine appellation. It bears many similarities to the Vouvray appellation that lies on the other side of the Loire (Montlouis is on the southern side). Hence, crisp dry whites are produced from the Chenin Blanc grape here. The vines gain sustenance from the underlying Turonian chalk that typifies this area.
The appellation covers three communes to the east of the city of Tours and covers some 350 hectares in the communes of Lussault-sur-Loire, Montlouis-sur-Loire and Saint-Martin-le-Beau. The appellation was one of the first in France to be created having been established in December 1938.

Montrachet wine appellation

Montrachet is a Grand Cru white wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering 7.99 hectares in the communes of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. The appellation was established in 1937 and is reserved for the production of opulent white wines from the Chardonnay grape only.
Many believe that the five Grand Cru appellations that share the name Montrachet are the finest expression of Chardonnay anywhere in the world.

Montravel wine appellation

The Montravel wine appellation is a broader appellation than the Cotes de Montravel appellation. Montravel covers 14 communes whereas Cotes de Montravel only covers parts of nine of them. In addition, in this appellation both still white wines and still red wines are permitted. The appellation was first declared in 1937 for white wines only, then the production of red wines was permitted in 2001.

White wines are made from Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Sémillon with small (<10%) amounts of Ondenc being permitted.

Red wines are made from Merlot which must not be less than 50% of the blend. The remainder can consist of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cot (Malbec)

Morey-Saint-Denis wine appellation

Morey-Saint-Denis is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which was established in 1936. The appellation permits the production of both red and white wines in the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis which lies between the famous wine areas of Chambolle Musigny and Gevrey Chambertin just south of the city of Dijon.
Within the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis there are twenty lieu dits or 'special places' that are specifically identified as dénominations for the production of wine of quality. These are all rated as Premier Cru for the production of both white and red wines.
The lieu dits are: Les Genavrières, Monts Luisants, Les Chaffots, Clos Baulet, Les Blanchards, Les Gruenchers, La Riotte, Les Millandes, Les Faconnières, Les Charrières, Clos des Ormes, Aux Charmes, Aux Cheseaux, Les Chenevery, Le Village, Les Sorbès, Clos Sorbè, La Bussière, Les Ruchots and Côte Rotie (not to be confused with the appellation in the northern Rhone).
White wines can be made from Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc, however the vast majority are pure Chardonnay. Red wines must be mainly Pinot Noir, however they can be supplemented with small amounts of white grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Morgon wine appellation

Morgon is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France producing deeply-coloured red wines from the Gamay grape. The wines are produced exclusively in the small commune of Villié-Morgon.
The character is imparted to the grapes by the ageing schist in which the vines thrive.
There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).
We became particularly fond of Morgon wines on a recent trip to the Beaujolais region. We were enchanted by the various offerings of the compact Cote de Py lieu dit within the Morgon appellation as well as the Les Charmes lieu dit. There are seven climats or lieu dits in all namely Côte de Py, Les Micouds, Javerniere, Les Grands Cras, Les Charmes, Corcelette and Douby.
Anyone who has experienced some of the better wines from this appellation will be totally captivated by the charming nature of these elegant wines.

Read more about the Morgon wine appellation

Moselle wine appellation

Moselle is one of the most recent appellations nominated in France. It was originally classified as a VDQS, gaining that status in 1951, however in late 2010 it was elevated to full AOC status. This appellation is situated in the far north of France ansd covers nineteen communes.

There are eight authorised grape varieties namely Pinot Noir for red wines, Auxerrois, Pinot Gris and Muller-Thurgau for single grape variety white wines (in blends Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Riesling can also be used) and for roses both Pinot Noir and Gamay can be used.

Moulin-à-Vent wine appellation

Moulin a Vent is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France producing fine red wines from the Gamay grape. The communes covered by this appellation include Chénas
and Romanèche-Thorins. In addition, the following lieu dits can be added to the label: les Carquelins, les Rouchaux, Champ de cour, en Morperay, les Burdelines, la Roche, la Delatte, les Bois maréchaux, la Pierre, les Joies, Rochegrès, la Rochelle, Champagne, les Caves and les Vérillats.
There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).
These are particularly fine wines for ageing and are worth seeking out.

Moulis or Moulis-en-Médoc wine appellation

The Moulis en Medoc wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France is situated in the Medoc which is approximately thirty kilometres north of the city of Bordeaux and quite close to Margaux. It is also called simply the Moulis appellation.
It is completely within the Gironde département and covers the communes of Arcins, Avensan, Castelnau-de-Médoc, Cussac-Fort-Médoc, Lamarque, Listrac-Médoc and Moulis-en-Médoc.
The permitted grape varieties in this red wine only appellation are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot

Muscadet wine appellation

Muscadet is a wine appellation in the western part of the Loire Valley of France near the city of Nantes. It is an extensive appellation producing minerally white wines from the Melon de Bourgogne grape which is also known as Muscadet.
There are three sub-appellations within the broader Muscadet region. These are Muscadet de Sevre et Maine where the wines of Pierre Luneau-Papin are produced. This sub-appellation is very large compared to the other two, but the best wines are generally found within these boundaries. The second is Muscadet Cotes de Grand Lieu which lies south-east of Nantes. The third is Muscadet - Coteaux de la Loire which lies east of Nantes where Pierre Luneau-Papin also maintains a vineyard.

Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire wine appellation

Muscadet des Coteaux de la Loire is a lesser wine appellation in the Loire region of France covering 24 communes (some 189 hectares) near the town of Ancenis. It is a very old appellation having been established in 1936.
The appellation lies east of the city of Nantes on the right (northern) bank of the Loire. The only grape variety permitted in this wine is Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet).

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu wine appellation

Muscadet Cotes de Grand-Lieu is an AOC wine appellation in the western part of the Loire Valley of France near the city of Nantes. It covers 19 communes that lie south-east of Nantes in the Loire-Atlantique département with a few spilling into the Vendee.
It is in this appellation that some of the most complex still white wines of the area are produced from the Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet) grape.

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine wine appellation

Muscadet Sevre et Maine is a wine appellation in the western part of the Loire Valley of France which was established in November 1936. The appellation is large, extending across two departments.
Some big, complex white wines are produced here using the Melon de Bourgogne grape which is the only grape permitted for the appellation.
On some labels you will see the words 'Sur Lie' which means that the wine has been aged on lees for some time to produce a more robust flavour and mouth-feel.
You might also see 'Hermine d'Or' on some bottles. These are wines that have been judged to be of superior quality by a tasting panel, although the designation is not currently recognised by France's INAO.

Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise wine appellation

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is the special appellation that was created for the famous sweet wines that are produced around the pleasant village that lies just north of Carpentras and a few kilometres to the west of Caromb.
The appellation covers only two communes, namely Aubignan and Beaumes de Venise. The only grape variety permitted for wines of this appellation is Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains also known as Muscat de Frontignan.
Wines of this appellation are sweet, luscious and highly appealing. They exhibit a honeyed nose with aromas of tropical fruits and citrus. Fermentation is stopped when the alcohol reaches 15% thus leaving residual sugar in the wine (in fact, alcohol is added to kill the yeasts). The wines are therefore sweet but not as sweet as, say, their cousins from Sauterne on the other side of the country. They can be paired with savoury dishes such as foie gras, poured into half a melon and eaten as an entrée or with desserts.

Muscat de Frontignan or Frontignan or Vin de Frontignan wine appellation

Muscat de Frontignan (also known as Frontignan or Vin de Frontignan) is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France just near Sete and bordered by the Massif de la Gardiole. It covers the communes of Frontignan and Vic-la-Gardiole.
The only permitted grape variety is Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and the only permitted wine is the very sweet Muscat that is produced here. There are only 10 producers working the 20 hectares of vines.

Muscat de Lunel wine appellation

Muscat de Lunel is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France. It is quite close to the coastal city of Montpelier. It was first recognised on the 27th October 1943. The appellation covers just the four communes of Lunel, Lunel-Viel, Saturargues and Vérargues in the Herault department.
Only the Muscat à Petits Grains grape can be used to vinify wine in this appellation.

Muscat de Mireval wine appellation

Muscat de Mireval is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France which lies south of Montpelier quite close to the coast.
The only grape permitted in this appellation is Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains.

Muscat de Rivesaltes wine appellation

Muscat de Rivesaltes is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France which is famous for the production of Vin Doux Naturels, which are sweet wines fortified with alcohol derived from grapes.
The wines are made from the Muscat of Alexandria and Muscat a Petit Grains grape varieties which give rise to fresh-tasting, perfumed wines that are a perfect accompaniment to many desserts.

Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois wine appellation

Muscat de Saint Jean-de-Minervois is a wine appellation in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France where interesting vin doux naturel is produced from Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains. The appellation was established in November 1939.
The Muscat de Saint Jean-de-Minervois wine appellation lies within the broader Mireval appellation.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Muscat du Cap Corse wine appellation

Muscat du Cap Corse is a wine appellation in the northern Corsica region of France. Here rich, sweet wines are made from low yielding vines. The wines are made only from the Muscat à Petits Grains Blancs. There are only 25 producers tending the 96 hectares of vines.

Musigny wine appellation

Musigny is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the commune of Chambolle-Musigny which lies half way between the cities of Beaune and Dijon. The appellation is reserved for the production of still red wines and still white wines although the area given over to white grapes is tiny at .57 hectares. The appellation was first proclaimed in 1936 and has always been a Grand Cru appellation.
The appellation is quite steep with red clay over limestone giving the unique flavour to this wine.
The red wines are made from Pinot Noir supplemented by small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc. The white wines are made from Chardonnay only and are very rare and highly prized.

Nuits-Saint-Georges wine appellation

Nuits-Saint-Georges is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the communes of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Premeaux-Prissey. It was first created in 1936 and the production of still white wines and still red wines is permitted here. A number of the climats (41 in all) with this appellation are rated as Premier Cru.
White wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. Red wines can be made from Pinot Noir and small quantities of the white grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc can be added. By far the majority of the wine produced here is red with 300 hectares given over to the production of red grapes and only 7.3 hectares planted to white.

Orléans wine appellation

The Orleans wine appellation is a relatively new one having gained appellation status in November 2006. It is situated in the upper Loire Valley around the city of Orleans. White wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, rose from Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir and red wines from a blend of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir are permitted.
The communes that comprise this appellation are scattered along the banks of the Loire.

Orléans-Cléry wine appellation

The Orleans-Clery wine appellation is a relatively new one having gained appellation status in November 2006. It is situated in the upper Loire Valley around the city of Orleans. Only red wines made from Cabernet Franc are permitted in this tiny appellation of 35 hectares that extends over 5 communes on the left bank of the Loire. They are Cléry-Saint-André, Mareau-aux-Prés, Mézières-lez-Cléry, Olivet and Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Mesmin.

Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh wine appellation

Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is a wine appellation in the South West region of France covering only 193 hectares in 37 communes in the departments of Pyrénées Atlantiques, Hautes Pyrénées and Gers.
It is a complex appellation with many grape varieties. The main grape variety is Arrufiac which must comprise at least 30% of the blend. Two other grapes varieties namely Courbu Blanc and Petit Manseng may combine with the Arrufiac to comprise at least 60% of the blend. Other permitted grape varieties include Gros Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon combined must not exceed 10% of the blend.

Palette wine appellation

The Palette wine appellation is a tiny area just east of Aix-en-Provence in southern France. It was established as an appellation in April 1948.
Red, white and rose wines are permitted in this appellation. The extent of the appellation is small covering the communes Meyreuil and Tholonet and a small part of the town of Aix-en-Provence.
An influential factor affecting the wines produced here is that the underlying geological strata are limestone known as Limestone of Langesse.
The wine varieties allowed in this appellation include many of the ancient Provencal varieties such as Petit-Brun, Manosquin and Castets.
For white wines the main grape variety is Clairette which must comprise at least 55% of the wine. Secondary grapes which comprise the remainder of the wine are Ugni Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Muscat Blanc, Terret-Bourret, Piquepoul, Pascal, Aragnan, Colombard and Tokay. There is a further restriction on the use of Terret-Bourret which cannot exceed 20%.
The red wines are a blend of the principal grapes of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault supported by Plant d'Arles, Manosquin, Téoulier, Durif, Muscat Noir, Carignan, Syrah, Castets, Brun-Fourcat, Terret Gris, Petit-Brun, Tibouren and Cabernet-Sauvignon.
It is a significant appellation because of the high quality of the wines produced by two domaines, namely Chateau Simone and Chateau Cremade.

Patrimonio wine appellation

Patrimonio is a wine appellation in the Corsica region of France which is producing some fine wines that are gracing some of the best wine bars in Paris.
In this region, red wines of considerable quality are made from the Niellucciu grape and aromatic whites from the Vermentinu (Vermentino) grape.

Pauillac wine appellation

Pauillac is a wine appellation of the Bordeaux region where some stunning red wines are produced. Situated on the left bank of the Gironde River it is the home to some of the best known Bordeaux red wines.
The appellation was established on the 14th November 1936 and is permitted to produce red wines only.
Wines are produced from the standard Bordeaux red grapes of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Pécharmant wine appellation

The Pecharmant wine appellation is a sub-appellation of Bergerac in the South West of France. This appellation covers some 400 hectares just to the North-East of Bergerac and applies to the production of red wines only. The main grape variety used here is Merlot, although Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec are also permitted. At least three varieties must be used when assembling the final wine.

Pernand-Vergelesses wine appellation

Pernand-Vergelesses is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which includes 11 Premier Cru cimats. It lies very close to the famous Corton-Charlemagne appellation in between Savigny-les-Beaune and Pernand-Vergelesses.
The appellation was recognised in 1936 for the production of still white and still red wines. However there is a finer requirement int hsio appellation where some climats (named places) are controlled as far as the production of red or white wines. Thus in the Le Plantes des Champs et Combottes climat and the Les Quartiers climat, for example, only white wines are produced whereas in the En Caradeaux and Les Fichots climats on the other side of the village, both red and white wines are produced.
The white wines can be made from either Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc with small additions of Pinot Gris. The red wines are made from Pinot Noir with the optional addition of small quantities of the white grapes.

Pessac-Léognan wine appellation

Pessac Leognan is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France on the left bank of the Gironde that was elevated to AOC status in September 1987. Both still white and red wines are permitted here.
White wines are made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle. Red wines are made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot (Malbec), Petit Verdot and Carmenere with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon being the main grapes preferred by growers here.
The wines are quite elegant with very good structure.

Petit Chablis wine appellation

Petit Chablis is a wine appellation in the Yonne department in the Burgundy region of France and which covers most of the wine growing area of Chablis. Appellation status was granted in 1944.
Wines are produced only from Chardonnay and these have a characteristic iodine saltiness derived from the limestones that dominate the terroir here.

Pierrevert wine appellation

The Pierrevert (formerly Coteaux de Pierrevert) is a 338 hectare wine appellation in Provence, France which has only been an AOC since 1998. It is in the Alpes de Haut Provence just north and east of the city of Apt near the historic village of Manosque and covers 11 communes.
The reds produced here are mainly based on Syrah and Grenache in keeping with the proximity to the Rhone appellations, however expect some Cinsault and Carignan to be blended in as well. The Syrah and Grenache must each comprise at least 30% of the blend.
The white grapes permitted are Grenache Blanc, Vermentino (as it is called by France's appellation authority, the INAO, however most locals call it Rolle), Ugni Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne. No individual grape can exceed 70% of the total. Grenache and Rolle must comprise at least 25% of the total.

Pomerol wine appellation

Pomerol is a red wine only appellation in the Bordeaux region of France that was initially created in December 1936.
Wines can be produced from the standard Bordeaux red grape varieties of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot (Malbec), Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Pommard wine appellation

Pommard is a wine appellation on the outskirts of the pretty town of Beaune in the Burgundy region of France. You reach this appellation on the D973 driving south west out of Beaune.
It is a red wine only appellation and was first established by decree in September 1936. Pinot Noir is the main grape variety used here but the red wines can be supplemented with small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.
The appellation extends only through some 318 hectares in the commune of Pommard but there are some 28 named places (lieu dits) that can be used on the wine label to identify the particular area within the commune where the grapes are grown.

Read more about the Pommard wine appellation

Pouilly-Fuissé wine appellation

Pouilly-Fuisse is a wine appellation in the Macon district of the Burgundy region of France which was first established by decree on the 11th September 1936.This appellation only permits the production of still white wines made solely from the Chardonnay grape.
The appellation covers four communes in the Saône-et-Loire, namely Chaintré, Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly and Vergisson.

Pouilly-Fumé or Blanc Fumé de Pouilly wine appellation

Pouilly-Fume is a wine appellation that lies in the beautiful Loire Valley in France. Here some stunning flinty, white wines are made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Particularly look for those produced by local guru, the late Didier Dagueneau whose wines are sought out by aficionados throughout the world.
There is also an associated appellation called Pouilly-sur-Loire where whites wines are vinified from the Chasselas grape.

Pouilly-Loché wine appellation

Pouilly-Loche is a wine appellation in the Maconnais area of the Burgundy region of France. Wine that are designated from this appellation must have been produced within the commune of Loche which lies about 5 kilometres south west of the pleasant town of Macon. Only white wines made from Chardonnay are permitted under this appellation which was established in 1940. There are five 'climats' that can appear after Pouilly-Loche on the label, namely Aux Barres, Aux Scelles, Au Bucher, En Chantone and Les Mures.

Pouilly-sur-Loire wine appellation

Pouilly-sur-Loire is a lesser-known AOC wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France adjoining its more famous cousin, Pouilly-Fume. It lies north east of the city of Bourges and comprises 7 communes (Garchy, Mesves-sur-Loire, Pouilly-sur-Loire, Saint-Andelain, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Martin-sur-Nohain and Tracy-sur-Loire) on the right bank of the Loire in the Nievre département.
As it is situated in the Upper Loire area, you might expect to find wines based on the Sauvignon Blanc grape. However this is not the case as here white wines are produced from the Chasselas grape variety. The extent of the plantings is quite small with less than fifty hectares being devoted to this grape.
To some extent this appellation reflects a previous era when Chasselas was a much more widely planted grape in the Loire. Even the Sancerre area, where Sauvignon Blanc now reigns supreme, used to have Chasselas as the dominant white grape. Chasselas was ravaged in Sancerre by the Phylloxera outbreak in the nineteenth century and afterwards locals found that Sauvignon Blanc grafted better onto the American rootstock that was being used.

Pouilly-Vinzelles wine appellation

Pouilly-Vinzelles is a wine appellation in the Maconnais area of the Burgundy region of France which was proclaimed in 1940 and which covers approximately 52 hectares in the communes of Vinzelles and Loche.
In this appellation only white wines made from Chardonnay can be produced. As with other similar appellations in this area there are some specific climats where wines produced from those plots can have the name of the climat added to the appellation name. In Pouilly-Vinzells these are Chateau de Vinzelles, Les Buchardieres, Les Longeays, Les Petaux and Les Quarts.

Premières Côtes de Bordeaux wine appellation

Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux is a white wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France in which some interesting sweet white wines are produced. This elongated appellation which was established in 1937 lies on the right bank of the Garonne River on the opposite bank to the more famous sweet wine appellations such as Sauternes and Barsac.
The grape varieties that can be used are Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon. The grapes are picked very late and are usually left to become botrytised and are then carefully hand-picked.

Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion wine appellation

Puisseguin Saint-Emilion is a little known wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France that borders Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion, Lussac-Saint-Emilion and Montagne-Saint-Emilion. The appellation was created in 1936 and permits the production of red wines from grapes grown in the commune of Puisseguin.
As with most Bordeaux red wine appellations the principal grape varieties are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot (Malbec) and Merlot. A little Carmenere and Petit Verdot can also be used provided they together constitute less than 10% of the blend. However most growers prefer a majority of Merlot in their blends with Cabernet Franc for the remainder

Puligny-Montrachet wine appellation

Puligny-Montrachet is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which was established in 1937. The production of both still red and still white wines is permitted although white wines dominate the production.
The vineyards closest to the village of Puligny-Montrachet take the village level appellation, but as you move west towards the hameau of Blagny many of the plots are rated as Premier Cru. Close to Blagny the terroir particularly suits the production of the red wines.
Reds are made from Pinot Noir supplemented by optional small additions of white grapes and white wines are normally produced from Chardonnay which thrives here, but Pinot Blanc is also permitted.

Quarts de Chaume wine appellation

Quarts de Chaume is a wine appellation in the Loire region of France. It is a tiny appellation covering only 54 hectares but some lovely wines are made here from the Chenin Blanc grape. The appellation lies on the banks of the Layon river just south of Angers in the commune of Rochefort-sur-Loire.
The wines produced here are the sweet wines that the French call vin doux liquoreux. These are intense, concentrated wines of great power and elegance where the grapes are left to ripen on the vine until the yield is down to under 17 hl/ha.
The only permitted grape variety is Chenin Blanc which is capable of producing extremely long-lasting wines that just get better and better with age.

Quincy wine appellation

Quincy is a wine appellation that lies in the beautiful Loire Valley that has sand and gravel soils rather than the limestone of nearby Sancerre. It extends through the communes of Brinay and Quincy.
The only permitted grape variety is Sauvignon Blanc and the wines made here tend to have a higher acidity than their better known neighbours. The permitted yields are quite high at 60 hl/ha.

Rasteau wine appellation

Rasteau is a wine appellation in the southern Rhone region of France where red, white and rose wines along with special vin doux naturels rancio wines are permitted. The appellation covers 41 hectares in the commune of Rasteau which sits on a lovely hillside overlooking the stunningly beautiful Dentelles de Montmirail which frame the southern Rhone appellations from Orange down to Beaumes de Venise. The appellation was promulgated in January 1944.
While the red, white and rose wines must be produced from grapes from the Rasteau commune the rancio wines can be made from grapes produced in three communes namely Cairanne, Rasteau and Sablet.
The grape varieties are too numerous to mention but the main player is Grenache supplemented by Mourvedre and Syrah. But then small quantities of the various southern Rhone grapes can be added.
These are always powerful wines that reflect the hot, open plains around the village of Rasteau.

Régnié wine appellation

Regnie is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France and is one of the most recent to gain Cru status. Only Gamay is permitted here unlike other cru Beaujolais appellations that can include Pinot noir in the assemblage. It covers some 386 hectares in the communes of Lantignié, Régnié-Durette in the southern part of the Beaujolais cru area.
There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

Reuilly wine appellation

Reuilly is a wine appellation in the upper Loire Valley region of France. The appellation covers some 182 hectares in the communes of Chery, Lazenay, Lury-sur-Arnon and Preuilly in the Cher département and Diou and Reuilly in the Indre.
White wines are produced here from Sauvignon Blanc and reds from Pinot Noir. Rose is also produced from the Pinot Gris grape.

Richebourg wine appellation

Richebourg is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France in the famous Vosne-Romanee commune which is reserved exclusively for the production of powerful red wines. Of the six famous appellations in the Vosne-Romanee commune, the Richebourg is the second largest with 7.4 hectares given over to production of grapes. This appellation is taken seriously becaue it borders both the Le Romanee and the Romanee-Conti appellations.

Rivesaltes wine appellation

Rivesaltes is a wine appellation in the beautiful region of Roussillon in southern France near the border with Spain. It is the source of some stunning sweet wines. The appellation was established in May 1972.
There is a bewildering array of grapes that are legal in this appellation including Maccabeu, Tourbat, Muscat a Petit Grain and Muscat d'Alexandrie for white wines and Grenache, Maccabeu and Tourbat for red wines. Recently, rose wines have been allowed in this appellation as well.

Romanée-Conti wine appellation

The Romanee-Conti wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France is without doubt one of the the most prestigious and one of the smallest appellations in the entire country at only 1.8 hectares - smaller even than the other monopole Chateau Grillet in the northern Rhone but larger than La Romanee at only .84 hectares.
One of the secrets to the quality of the wine is the very fine clay that only exists within the limits of this appellation and which provides ideal drainage for the Pinot vines. Of course, skilful winemaking is also required to produce a wine of this quality!

Our only concern with this wine is the use of new French oak which imparts a sweet, vanilla flavour to the wine that we find jarring!

On the positive side we like the fact that this is a natural wine.

Romanée-Saint-Vivant wine appellation

Romanee-Saint-Vivant is a Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering only the commune of Vosne-Romanee. This is a red wine only appellation producing powerful red wines from the Pinot Noir grape that will last for many years.
There are six similar appellations in the Vosne-Romanee commune and this one is the most extensive even though the entire appellation only covers 9.3 hectares.

Rosé d'Anjou wine appellation

Rose d'Anjou is a wine appellation in the Loire region of France where dry rose wine are produced from the Grolleau grape.
The area covered by the appellation is 400 hectares and covers most of the communes of the Anjou appellation.

Rosé de Loire wine appellation

Rose de Loire wine appellation in the Loire region of France which was created in 1974. The appellation is for rose wines made from a variety of grapes including Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineau d'Aunis and Grolleau.
This is a very broad appellation covering the Anjou, Touraine and Saumur regions.

Rose des Riceys wine appellation

Rose des Riceys is an AOC wine appellation in the Champagne region of France where still rose wines are produced from Pinot Noir grapes. This appellation was first granted AOC status in December 1947 and is reserved solely for the production of rose wines.
The appellation is in the southern-most part of the Aube where grapes are produced in the commune of Les Riceys.

Rosette wine appellation

Rosette is a sweet wine AOC appellation in the Dordogne area of south west France. It was established in March 1946.
Sweet white wines of some elegance and with a subtle pale yellow colour are produced from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes here.
The wines can be produced in the communes of Bergerac, Creysse, Ginestet, Lembras, Maurens and Prigonrieux.
It is quite a small appellation with the vineyards covering a mere 21 hectares.

Roussette de Savoie wine appellation

Roussette de Savoie is a wine appellation in the Savoie region of France with boundaries similar to those of the Vin de Savoie appellation. Wines in this region that are produced entirely from Roussette (also known locally as Altesse) and which meet the other requirements of the appellation (such as sugar content) can display Roussette de Savoie on the label. Wines prior to those made in 2000 could have some Chardonnay included but this practice no longer conforms to the rules of the AOC.
There are four small crus that can add the name of the cru to the label. These are Frangy (covering the communes of Chaumont, Desingy and Frangy), Marestel (Jongieux and Lucey), Monterminod (Saint-Alban-Leysse) and Monthoux (Saint-Jean-de-Chevelu). Some of the best wines are produced in the Maristel cru.

Roussette du Bugey wine appellation

Roussette de Bugey is a recently elevated AOC wine appellation in the Ain département of the Jura region of France which lies about half way between Lyon and Geneva. It is therefore natural to expect that the vineyards display influences of both Burgundy and the Savoie.
There are two sub-regions that can be added to the labels of wines from this area namely Montagnieu and Virieu le Grand.
From 2008 wines that are labelled as Roussette de Bugey must be 100% Altesse.

Ruchottes-Chambertin wine appellation

Ruchottes-Chambertin is a famous Grand Cru wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France restricted to the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin. This appellation is a mere 3 hectares and is restricted to red wines only.

Rully wine appellation

Rully is a wine appellation in the Cote Chalonnaise area of the Burgundy region of France that includes 23 Premier Cru climats in the communes of Rully and Chagny. Both red and white still wines are permitted here. Rully was elevated to AOC status in 1939.
Red wines are made from Pinot Noir which can have small additions of Chardonnay or Pinot Gris. White wines can be made from Chardonnay and Pinot Gris but not Pinot Blanc. White wine production extends over 150 hectares (62 hectares of which is Premier Cru) and red has 96 hectares of production of which 25 is rated as Premier Cru.

Saint-Amour wine appellation

Saint-Amour is a wine appellation in the Beaujolais region of France covering some 308 hectares in the commune of Saint-Amour-Bellevue. Here, pleasant red wines are produced from the Gamay grape and sometimes the permitted Pinot Noir which can comprise up to 15% of the assemblage until 2015.
The following lieu dits can be added to the label: la Côte de Besset, le Clos de la Brosse, les Champs grillés, le Clos des Guillons, le Mas des Tines, Vers l'Eglise, le Chatelet, Le Clos des Billards, les Bonnetes, en Paradis, la Folie and Clos du Chapitre.
There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second is labelled Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level is the ten 'crus' where the finest wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié).

Saint-Aubin wine appellation

The Saint Aubin wine appellation lies just south of the historic town of Beaune in the heart of Burgundy. It is quite close to the famous Meursault and brushes up against the villages of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet.
It is here that a new generation of winemakers are restoring this appellation to its former glory.
Saint Aubin was declared an appellation on the 31st July 1933 covering only the commune of the same name. It is permitted to produce red wines and white wines here but not rosé.
White wines can be made from Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc without restriction. In other words it is permitted to make a wine from 100% Pinot Blanc which some winemakers do.
The principal red grape is Pinot Noir but this is allowed to be blended in the making of red wines with Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris provided the total of these supplementary grapes does not exceed 15%.
Wines made in this area are entitled to display Saint Aubin on the label. Some named lieu dits or parcels in this appellation have been designated as Premier Cru, such as En Remilly and Le Puits and wines that are produced solely from grapes from these tiny areas can also add the Premier Cru and lieu dit name on the label.

Saint-Bris wine appellation

Saint-Bris is a relatively small and relatively unknown recent appellation (created in 2001) in the Burgundy area covering the communes of Chitry, Irancy, Quenne, Saint-Bris-le-Vineux and Vincelottes.
It is notable because the vast majority of white wines in Burgundy are made from Chardonnay with some being made from Aligote, however this appellation permits the use of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris. It is a sub-area of the Côte d'Auxerre and lies to the west of Chablis.
An example of an excellent wine made in this appellation is that made by young winemakers Alice et Olivier De Moor.

Saint-Chinian wine appellation

The Saint Chinian wine appellation lies in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France and produces some very interesting red wines and roses on the schist-based soils from the Carignan grape along with Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. White wines are also permitted.
The appellation falls within the département of Herault and covers 20 communes including the commune of Saint Chinian.
The permitted grape varieties are Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Lladoner Pelut. Of these, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Lladoner Pelut must comprise 60% of the plantings. Carignan is limited to 40% of the plantings and Cinsault to 30%.
White wines can be made from Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Rolle (Vermentino). Secondary grapes are Bourboulenc, Carignan Blanc, Clairette and Macabeu Blanc.
There are also two new Saint Chinian areas (Berlou and Roquebrun) which can have their names appended to the Saint Chinian.

Sainte-Croix-du-Mont wine appellation

Sainte-Croix-du-Mont is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France that lies on the right bank of the Garonne directly opposite the Sauternes appellation. Like Sauternes, the Sainte-Croix-du-Mont appellation is devoted to the production of sweet white wines. It was granted AOC status in September 1936.
The appellation area covers some 380 hectares and the soils have a strong limestone component with limestone outcrops dotted through the area.
The permitted grape varieties are Muscadelle, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris.

Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux wine appellation

The Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France is a small producer of both red and white wines. It lies in the Entre-Deux-Mers region at its eastern extremity.
The appellation rules permit the production of red and white wines. Red wines use the principal grape varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec (Cot) and Merlot which must comprise at least 85% of the blend. These varieties can be supplemented by the addition of Carmenère (which must be less than 10% of the blend) and Petit Verdot.
White wines use the principal grape varieties Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Sémillon. As with the red wines, the principal varieties must comprise at least 85% of the blend. Small amounts of the secondary varieties Colombard and Ugni Blanc can also be used.

Saint-Emilion wine appellation

Saint-Emilion is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France which was established in November 1936. Only red wines are permitted in this appellation.
The red wines can be made from the following principal grape varieties: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec (Cot) and Merlot. Petit Verdot can also be added but must comprise less than 10% of the blend.
There is also a related appellation of Saint-Emilion Grand Cru which was created in October 1954 which has stricter yield requirements.

Saint-Emilion grand cru wine appellation

See Saint-Emilion above. This appellation was created in October 1954.

Updated: 26 Jan 2012

Saint-Estèphe wine appellation

Saint-Estephe is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France covering just one commune (Saint Estephe) in the Gironde department. It was first established on the 14th November 1936.
Saint Estephe is an appellation for red wines only. The wine can be made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec (locally known as Cot), Merlot and Petit Verdot.
A good value wine from this appellation that is worth trying is the Chateau Meyney St-Estephe.

Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion wine appellation

Saint-Georges Saint-Emilion is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France immediately bordering the famous Saint-Emilion appellation. This appellation is small by Bordeaux standards covering just 198 hectares in the commune of Montagne. This appellation gained AOC status in November 1936.
The appellation rules permit the production of red wines only. The grape varieties permitted here are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cot (Malbec), Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Saint-Joseph wine appellation

Saint-Joseph is a wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France where some elegant red wines are produced based on the Syrah grape. The appellation extends from Valence in the south following the left bank of the Rhone to the commune of Chavanay at the northern end.
The extent of the appellation runs to a little over 1000 hectares and red wines made from Syrah and white wines made from Roussanne and Marsanne are permitted. It is also permitted to use up to 10% of white wine grapes when making a red wine here.

Saint-Julien wine appellation

Saint-Julien is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France situated in the centre of the prized Medoc area on the left bank of the Gironde River in between the Margaux and Paulliac appellations. The communes covered are Cussac-Fort-Medoc, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle and Saint-Laurent-Medoc. The appellation was first promulgated in November 1936.
Here deep, ruby-coloured red wines are produced that have both power and elegance. The area is famous for its gravel soils that provide very good drainage.
Most producers favour Cabernet Sauvignon here blended with some Merlot and perhaps some Cabernet Franc. In addition to these grape varieties Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Cot are also permitted.

Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil wine appellation

Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil is a small wine appellation that rings the village of the same name on the northern banks of the Loire river, not too far from Tours. It was created in 1937 and is confined to the one commune. The official records currently show the size of the appellation to be 1050 hectares. The maximum production is set at 55 hectolitres per hectare.
Sands, gravels, silt and limestone provide an ideal base for the Cabernet Franc vines that comprise almost all the vines in the appellation. Cabernet Franc is the only permitted variety in this appellation for both the red wines and the rose.

Saint-Péray wine appellation

Saint Peray is a wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France which is unusual because rather than producing red wines like the surrounding appellations it produces still and sparkling white wines.
The communes covered by this appellation are Saint-Péray and Toulaud which lie on the western side of the Rhone just south-west of Valence.
The permitted grape varieties are Marsanne and Roussanne. The appellation covers 53 hectares for still white wines and a mere 5 hectares is given over to the production of the 'Mousseux' sparkling wines.

Saint-Pourçain wine appellation

Saint-Pourcain (St-Pourcain-sur-Sioule) is an AOC wine appellation that lies in central France near the confluence of the Sioule and Allier rivers covering 19 communes in the Allier département over an extent of 577 hectares. White, rose and red wines are produced here. It gained AOC status in May 2009.
The reds are made from Gamay and sometimes Pinot Noir and the whites can have up to 40% of the ancient Tressallier (also known as Sacy) grape variety and must have 50% of Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc and Aligote can also be used. The rose wines are made from Gamay Noir.

Saint-Romain wine appellation

Saint-Romain is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France a few kilometres south west of Pommard. Both red and white still wines are permitted here and the vines thrive on the mix of marl and limestone on the high slopes. The appellation was proclaimed in October 1947.
The red wines are made from Pinot Noir with small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris being permitted as well. The white wines are made from Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc.

Saint-Véran wine appellation

Saint-Veran is a wine appellation in the Maconnais area of the Burgundy region of France covering the communes of Chanes, Chasselas, Davaye, Leynes, Prisse, Saint-Verand, Solutre-Pouilly and Saint-Amour Bellevue. It gained appellation status in 1971. It is a white wine only appellation and Chardonnay is the only permitted grape variety.

Sancerre wine appellation

Sancerre is a wine appellation that lies in the beautiful Loire Valley in France. It is rightly famous for the thrilling Sauvignon Blanc wines that are produced here. It is the area where this grape reaches its ultimate expression.
It should also be remembered that Sancerre also permits the production of red wines from the Pinot Noir grape and some excellent examples of Pinot Noir can be found here including the silky cuvees from Daniel Chotard. It is also permitted to produce rose wines from Pinot Noir in this appellation.

Read more about the Sancerre appellation

Santenay wine appellation

Santenay is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France based around the communes of Santenay and Remigny. It was granted AOC status in December 1936. Both still red wines and still white wines are permitted here.
White wines can be made from Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc and red wines can be made from Pinot Noir with small amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris allowed as well.

Saumur wine appellation

Saumur is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley of France radiating southwards from the city of Saumur and comprising some 39 communes within 3 separate départements. The area covers a number of sub-appellations including Saumur-Champigny, Coteaux de Saumur and Saumur Mousseux. Cremant de la Loire is also produced in this region.

Reds are primarily made from Cabernet Franc and whites from Chenin Blanc. For the whites, Chenin Blanc must comprise at least 80% of the blend with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc being permitted for the remainder. For the reds the permitted grapes are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pineau d'Aunis with locals overwhelmingly favouring Cabernet Franc as their grape of choice.

Saumur-Champigny wine appellation

The Saumur-Champigny wine appellation in the Loire region of France is an appellation for red wines made from Cabernet Franc with Cabernet Sauvignon, with Pineau d'Aunis also being permitted. If you choose well, you can find some incredibly well made wines that represent exceptional value for money.
The official appellation body for France, the INAO, says of the wines of Saumur-Champigny "c'est le plus célèbre des vins rouges de l'Anjou".
While the broader Saumur appellation covers some 39 communes, the Saumur-Champigny appellations is restricted to the communes of Chacé, Montsoreau, Parnay, Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg, Saumur, Souzay-Champigny, Turquant and Varrains.

Saussignac wine appellation

Saussignac is a sweet white wine appellation in the South West France region of France lying south west of the town of Bergerac and covering the communes of Gageac-et-Rouillac, Monestier, Razac-de-Saussignac and Saussignac. It lies directly beside the better known Monbazillac appellation. It is quite a small appellation covering only 53 hectares.
The main grape varieties are Sémillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle. The wines are a pale golden colour with aromas of quince and apricots.

Sauternes wine appellation

Sauternes is a wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of France which is famous for the production of high quality sweet white wines. The area covered includes the communes of Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignac and Sauternes. It was first established on the 30th September 1936.
The grapes that can be used are Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, the rare Sauvignon Gris and Sémillon.

Savennières wine appellation

Savennieres is a wine appellation in the Loire region of France near the city of Angers in the département of Maine-et-Loire covering only the communes of Bouchemaine, La Possonnière and Savennières. The appellation allows only white wines made from the Chenin Blanc grape which is known locally as Pineau de la Loire. It was granted AOC status in December, 1952 and covers only 146 hectares and about 30 producers.
There are two crus that lie within the appellation namely "La Roche aux Moines" and "La Coulée de Serrant" the latter of which is a monopole currently owned by the Joly family.

Savigny-les-Beaune wine appellation

Savigny-les-Beaune is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France lying just to the north west of the city of Beaune. Elegant red wines made from Pinot Noir and delicious white wines made from Chardonnay are found here. The appellation was established on 31st July 1937.
The appellation only covers the commune of Savigny-les-Beaune and lies in a wedge between the N74 and the A6 - although some small areas are found on the south side of the A6.
The main grape varieties are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, however the white wines can also contain Pinot Blanc with no limit set on the percentage used. Red wines must contain Pinot Noir but can contain some Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris.

Read more about the Savigny-les-Beaune appellation

Seyssel wine appellation

Seyssel is a wine appellation in the Savoie region of France which was proclaimed in February 1942 and which covers the communes of Seyssel and Corbonod. The appellation permits the production of still white wines and sparkling white wines.
Still white wines must be made from the Altesse grape. Sparkling wines can be made from Altesse, Chasselas or Molette.

Tavel wine appellation

Tavel wine is a wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France covering some 951 hectares where some very good rose wines are produced on the plains on the western side of the Rhone in the communes of Roquemaure and Tavel.
It is an unusual appellation because legal action was taken in 1928 to define the boundaries some years before the INAO was formed to carry out this work. The initial court ruling was handed down on 28th January 1928. The appellation was declared on the 15th May 1936.
The rose wines can be made from the following principal grapes Bourboulenc, Cinsaut Noir, Clairette, Clairette Rose, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Piquepoul Blanc, Piquepoul Gris, Piquepoul Noir and Syrah. These can be supported by the secondary grapes Calitor, Carignan Blanc and Carignan.
Grenache must comprise at least 40% of the plantings but each principal grape cannot exceed more than 60% of the plantings and each secondary grape must comprise less than 10% of the plantings.

Touraine wine appellation

Touraine is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley in France based around the city of Tours. Red, rose and white wines are produced here. The reds are usually made from Gamay and the whites from Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, however Menu Pineau (also called Arbois) is found in some fine wines made in this appellation. Recently, Chardonnay has been planted in this area but it is restricted to 20% of the blend.
Other permitted red varieties are Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Malbec (called Cot here) and Pineau d'Aunis.
There are a number of sub-appellations within which some interesting wines are produced. These include Touraine Amboise, Touraine Azay-le-Rideau, Touraine Mesland and Touraine Noble-Joue.

Touraine Noble Joué

Touraine-Noble-Joue is a relatively unknown wine appellation within the larger Touraine appellation in France's Loire Valley. It covers a tiny area and is known for the production of a very good rose made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Meunier. It was awarded appellation status in 2001.

Vacqueyras wine appellation

The lovely village of Vacqueyras which lies to the east of Orange, was elevated to its own appellation in 1990 because of the powerful reds it produces. These wines are often blends of Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre. The appellation only covers two communes namely Sarrians and Vacqueyras.
The rules of the appellation favour Grenache with at least 50% of this variety being required. The Syrah and Mourvèdre must comprise at least 20% of the blend. This means that there is room for the secondary varieties which are all of those allowed in the Cotes du Rhone appellation.
There is another interesting rule that vignerons must comply with. Rather than the generic 50 hectolitres per hectare yield that is allowed for most appellations, here the yield must be much lower at only 36 hectolitres per hectare.
White wines must be made from Grenache, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Marsanne, Roussanne or Viognier. None of these varieties can exceed 80% of the blend.

Valençay wine appellation

Valencay is a recently promoted AOC wine appellation (it gained AOC status in 2004) in the Loire region of France that adjoins the Touraine appellation. While it extends across fourteen communes in two départements (Indre and Loir-et-Cher) its total extent is only 142 hectares. The communes are Chabris, Faverolles, Fontguenand, Luçay-le-Mâle, Lye, Menetou-sur-Nahon, Parpeçay, Poulaines, Valençay, Varennes-sur-Fouzon, La Vernelle, Veuil, Villentrois and Selles-sur-Cher.
Red wines are made from Gamay, Malbec (Cot), Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. White wines are made from Sauvignon Blanc, Arbois and Chardonnay.

Ventoux wine appellation

The Ventoux appellation (previously known as Côtes du Ventoux) lies between the area designated as Luberon in the south and the massive Mont Ventoux to the north. It is a large appellation covering some 50 communes over an area of 5800 hectares and producing over a quarter of a million hectolitres of wine annually.
Whites, reds and rosés are found here of varying quality ranging from some of the most interesting wines in the country to some mediocre ‘cooperative wines'. However there has recently been interest in the area from some of the better wine makers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Burgundy.
Reds and rosés are primarily made from the following grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut, Carignan and Mourvèdre. As with the nearby Luberon appellation it is permitted to use secondary grape varieties such as Picpoul and Cournoise provided they do not exceed 20% of the blend. Carignan must not exceed 30% of the blend. The whites are made from combinations of Bourboulenc, Clairette and Grenache Blanc with Roussanne also being permitted but limited to 30% of the blend.

Read more about the Ventoux appellation

Vin de Corse or Corse wine appellation

Vin de Corse is a wine appellation in Corsica covering wines from all parts of the island that do not fall under one of the more specific appellations such as Patrimonio or Ajaccio.
The Vin de Corse can be qualified by a region as well depending on where the wine is produced. The regional appellations are Vin de Corse Calvi, Vin de Corse Sartene, Vin de Corse Figari, Vin de Corse Porto-Vecchio and in the north of the island Vin de Corse Coteaux du Cap Corse. Wines produced down much of the east coast and in the centre of the island simply uses the Vin de Corse appellation.
The main grape varieties are Nielluccio, Sciacarello and Vermentino.

Vin de Savoie wine appellation

Vin de Savoie is a broad wine appellation in the Savoie region of France covering a range of wines and a range of sub-appellations including many cru appellations as well as a Mousseux and a tiny Petillant appellation. The appellation is distinguished by the wide variety of grapes rarely found in other parts of France (Altesse, Jacquere, Verdesse and Gringet for example).
Many of the vineyards are to be found in the beautiful valley that surrounds the Lac du Bourget which lies a short distance to the south-west of Geneva with some additional areas producing some very good wines around the communes of Apremont and Chignin which lie to the south of the town of Chambery.
The region is especially well-known for the crisp white wines that are produced from a variety of lesser-known grape varieties. However, red wines, roses and sparkling wines are also produced.
The white wines are made primarily from Aligote, Altesse (Roussette), Jacquere, Chardonnay, Veltliner and Mondeuse Blanche. In the Haute-Savoie, Roussette d'Ayze, Gringet (local name for Savagnin) and Chasselas are permitted as secondary grape varieties and in Isere, Marsanne and Verdesse can also be used in small quantities. Molette is permitted for sparkling wines in the Haute-Savoie.
Red wines are made from three principal grapes, namely Gamay, Mondeuse and Pinot Noir. Other varieties are permitted in small quantities including Persan, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Etraire de la Dui, Servanin and Joubertin.
There are a number of very small cru sub-appellations covering usually one, two or three communes. They are Abymes, Apremont, Arbin (where good reds made from Mondeuse are produced), Ayze, Chautagne, Chignin, Chignin-Bergeron (where the wines are made from Roussanne, known locally as Bergeron), Cruet, Jongieux, Marignan (whites made only from Chasselas), Marin (whites made only from Chasselas), Montmélian, Ripaille (whites made only from Chasselas), Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte and Saint-Jeoire-Prieuré.

Vinsobres wine appellation

Vinsobres is a relatively new wine appellation in the Cotes du Rhone region of France having been elevated to AOC status in February 2006. Vinsobres is a commune in the Drome just immeidately north of Vaison-la-Romaine and close to Nyons. The production of still red wines is permitted here.
The permitted grape varieties read like an ampelography digest. The principal grape variety is Grenache supported by Mourvedre and Syrah. However, in this appellation there are 'accessory' grape varieties that can be used and these are Bourboulenc, Brun Argent, Carignan, Cinsaut, Clairette, Clairette Rose, Counoise, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Marsanne, Muscardin, Piquepoul Blanc, Piquepoul Noir, Roussanne, Terret Noir, Ugni Blanc and Viognier. There are rules about the proportions. Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvedre must comprise at least 80% of the blend with the Grenache being at least 50% of the total. Mourvedre and Syrah must be at least 25% of the total blend. The accessory varieties must be less than or equal to 20% of the blend and white varieties must not exceed 5% of the total.

Viré-Clessé wine appellation

Vire-Clesse is a wine appellation in the Maconnais area of the Burgundy region of France in the communes of Clesse, Laize, Monbellet and Vire. Here there are some wonderful golden, fresh, lively white wines produced from the Chardonnay grape.

Volnay wine appellation

Volnay is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France which includes 30 Premier Cru climats in the communes of Meursault and Volnay just south of the city of Beaune. It was elevated to AOC status in September 1937. The production of red wines only is permitted in this appellation.
The red wines are produced from Pinot Noir with the optional addition of small quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. The wines of Volnay are highly prized for their elegance and lighter colour and beautiful aromas derived from the oolitic limestone that dominates the steep slopes of this appellation.

Vosne-Romanée wine appellation

Vosne-Romanee is a communal wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the communes of Vosne-Romanee and Flagey-Echezeaux. The production of red wines is permitted in this appellation. It gained AOC status in September 1936. There are 15 Premier Cru climats within this appellation.
Red wines are made from Pinot Noir although small optional quantities of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are permitted.

Vougeot wine appellation

Vougeot is a wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France covering the commune of the same name. It gained appellation status in December 1936. Both still white wines and still red wines are permitted under this appellation. There are only four climats in this commune that qualify for Premier Cru status, namely Les Cras, Le Clos Blanc, Les Petits Vougeots and Clos de la Perriere.
White wines can be produced from wither Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. Red wines can be made from Pinot Noir with small optional additions of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris.

Vouvray wine appellation

Vouvray is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley region of France which was one of the first established having been created in 1936. It is most famous for the production of crisp, full bodied white wines made from the Chenin Blanc grape. These wines are famous for being long-lived and prime examples of the expression of Chenin Blanc. The plantings of this grape within this appellation are some of the most extensive in France. A secondary grape variety called Orbois Blanc is permitted provided no more than 5% is used.
However, sparkling wines are also produced here as well as a slightly sweet still wine.
The appellation covers eight communes of the right bank of the Loire near the village of Vouvray. They are: Chançay, Noizay, Parçay-Meslay, Reugny, Rochecorbon, Tours, Vernou-sur-Brenne and Vouvray. Old, used barrels are the norm here.
Because of the geographic position of these communes, the harvest is always very late, often extending into late October and early November. Very little use is made of modern wine making techniques such as maturing is new oak.

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