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Uncorked: Which part of France makes the best wine?


It’s the most famous wine country in the world but French wine isn’t limited to Burgundy and Bordeaux (though they are, of course, fantastic).

French wine is as diverse as its geography, which spans cool, wet mountains, a hot and humid Mediterranean coastline, and everything in between. With almost 30,000 wineries across the country, you’d actually struggle not to find a bottle of something you haven’t yet tried.

But where to begin? The Independent Wine Club’s newest case, for one thing. The French Explorer case highlights the secret winemaking corners of the country, showcasing something different from the bigger-name regions, such as a red from Provence or a single varietal Bordeaux.

We also asked the Independent Wine Club gurus for their tips on tasting your way around the country’s lesser known bottles.

Q. Which part of France makes the best wine?

A. I would imagine you could throw a dart at a map of France and wherever it landed, a strong argument could be made for that very place being where one could find the most delicious wine. France is arguably the world’s favourite wine region and for good reason too – since the sixth century, its rolling hillsides, historic villages and crystal coasts have all been occupied by ambling vines producing wonderful wine. To name just one place is essentially impossible!

There are the big-name regions, the ones we all know to be titans – Burgundy and Bordeaux, where the oldest vineyards uphold ancient traditions and classic winemaking that somehow, each year, manage to get better and better. The grapes from these regions have been taken from France and are now grown all over the new world in new and exciting iterations that all hold a candle to, and carry the essence of, the land they originally come from.

It goes to show though, just how brilliant the rest of France is that the other regions stand up against the big two. The sheer variety of the country’s geography can be seen from the range of wines that come from them. Pale pink rose has become the poster child for the sunny coasts of Provence, but it is a region that also makes spicy and bold fruit forward reds. Its neighbour, Languedoc-Roussillon, which stretches along the coast and through to the Pyrenees, produces stunning, crisp, golden Chardonnays and rich aromatic reds from grapes grown only in the region itself. It’s also making a strong opponent to the world’s superstar sparkler, Champagne, with its glistening bubbly, Crémant.

The list goes on, really – the Loire Valley, Alsace, Rhone, Corsica, and… they are all brilliant. So, to answer the question, well, I can’t really. I can just suggest you take a long sabbatical from work, probably a good year if you want to scratch the surface and get yourself on a whistle stop tour of the entire majestic nation of France. Although, if that’s not all too feasible – order the French Explorer case and uncork your way through the country from the comfort of your own home.

To learn more about Independent Wine Club and catch the latest cases before they sell out, sign up here.

Got a question for the wine gurus? Send it to or tweet @hannah_twiggs.


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