Journey to the heart of the riches of the French Terroirs
The diversity of soils and subsoils, exposures and climates, combined with an ancestral know-how, makes France the birthplace of wine and of grands crus.
If the vine reflects the unbreakable bond between man and nature, wine depicts the history of a terroir. It is the fruit of its great generosity.
Discover the endless riches of the French wine regions !
It was to Provence that the vine was first introduced by the Romans.
The vines grow mainly on limestone and volcanic soils. Although most of the region produces rosé wines, this wine region is not limited to this colour alone : major varieties like Syrah or Mourvèdre are there to remind us of this. Luminous and warm, like the sun itself, and lively as the Mistral, they are just waiting to be allowed to conquer !
On the other side of the Mediterranean, the Corsican vineyards sparkle with their native varieties – true gems that gleam in the sun. Sciacarellu, Niellucciu and Vermentinu are three that have been brought to perfection by a handful of winemakers who extracts the very best from them, and are well worth a detour.
If there is one wine-growing area that enjoys worldwide fame among wine lovers, it must be Bordeaux.
The vast wine estates with their mosaic of vineyards cover practically the whole of the Gironde region, making this the most important wine-growing area in France.
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 granted these wines the fame now enjoyed by the whole region. This reputation is due to the many terroirs on both the left bank and the right bank, as well as to the potential of varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc or Merlot. In white wines, Semillon – the “king of Sauternes” – and Sauvignon Blanc dominate. The quality of the terroirs and varieties allied with the know-how of the winemakers ensures that these fabled wines shall endure and defeat all comers, wherever they may come from. Bordeaux is,
without question, the ambassador for French wines.
A lifetime is not enough to capture all the charms of Burgundy and its two major varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
They are available in many different “Climats”, or named parcels that var y according to their clay-limestone soils and their microclimates. Here, the role of the winemaker is more
impor tant than elsewhere, as it is he who fine-tunes the musical score represented by each row of vine .
Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France, is the mecca for the vineyards of the Rhône Valley, which stretches south to Avignon.
This region is split into two parts : to the north, the Syrah and Viognier varieties shimmer on steep, sun-bathed slopes while to the south, the Grenache shines in all its variations, lulled by the Mistral.
A winemaking land with a glorious past, the Rhône Valley and its growers continue to create beautiful tales.
Stretching along the 600 miles of the Loire river valley, this is an extensive wine region featuring a patchwork of terroirs capable of producing all kinds of wines, in a variety of styles and colours. Often underestimated, it is however home to a number of local grape varieties that figure among the finest worldwide, such as Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc, which here is known as Breton. Each variety inspires more passion than the last, ensuring something to keep every enthusiast happy.
Louis François will open the doors to these small estates for you.
This wine region brings together two distinct entities that are united by their production of wines of character allied to a distinctly southern charm.
The first of these, Languedoc, is the French wine region that has made most progress in the last twenty years, driven by engines of change that have blazed a trail for a whole new generation of talented winemakers who seek only to express themselves through winemaking practices that are increasingly eco-friendly.
As for Roussillon, this is home to a number of high-altitude vineyards where some of the greatest French white wines are produced. This production is rounded out by a small harvest of vins doux naturels – lightly fortified wines – that are often unjustly ignored. French soil is a veritable gold mine that Louis François will help you get to know better.
The vineyards of Beaujolais are located in the Rhône region and cover the southernmost part of Burgundy. The vines are planted on calcareous soils, known as “golden stones”, or on granite,
and grow in a temperate climate.
The Beaujolais region spreads out before us and we’re enchanted by its ravishingly fruity wines made with the Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc variety.
A wide range of varieties placed at the service of an extraordinary cuisine linked to an ancient history makes this beautiful region one of the most exciting anywhere. Tour the length of its wine route and its 51 grands crus that long ago decided to select each variety in accordance with its favourite terroir.
Whether it is the white Riesling wines, carved from the rock itself, or the subtle sweetness of the Gewurztraminer, you will be charmed by the Louis François selection.
Between the Atlantic Coast and the Lot Valley, the South West wine region is one of the most diverse areas of France and one whose isolation has helped to preserve its oenological riches intact. In order to penetrate its mysteries, it is necessary to venture into the wine estates and meet the winemakers, who will extol the virtues of Ondenc, Mauzac or Auxerrois.
It is this very diversity that gives rise to some soft and fruity wines, and others that are extremely rich and complex.
The smallest wine region in France, the vineyards of Jura have nevertheless long been held in high repute and produce specialty wines along the length of the Massif du Revermont. These are marly soils, associated with varieties such as Savagnin (white), Poulsard and Trousseau (red) that have won the hearts of many an enthusiast. The Arbois appellation was also one of the first to be granted in France, in 1936.
The wine-growing region of the Savoie has, like the Jura, preserved a wealth of native wine varieties that today are the delight of sommeliers: Jacquère, Altesse, Chasselas and Molette – each provides one more reason to explore these beautiful mountain vineyards scattered across the hillsides of Savoie, Haute Savoie, Isère and Ain.