France is renowned worldwide for its exceptional wine, and rightfully so. I’m not saying this just because it’s my home country. France has some of the most distinguished wine regions, each with its distinct character and style. These regions are not only famous for their delectable wine, but they also make for an exciting destination to explore and experience France. In this article, I will highlight the top wine regions in France to visit, including tips and why I particularly like them.

Whenever we visit France for holidays, we make sure to explore a wine region. With so many beautiful destinations to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to go. That’s why I’m sharing my top reasons for visiting these regions, to help make your decision easier. The best part is, you can’t go wrong with any of these destinations – each one offers a unique and wonderful experience to discover!


What’s special about Burgundy wines

Burgundy is known for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines in the world. The wine region is divided into five main sub-regions, each with its distinct terroir and traditions.

The Cote de Nuits and Cote d’Or are perhaps the most famous sub-regions, with the renowned Grand Cru vineyards of Pommard, Gevrey-Chambertin, and Nuits Saint George. In these sub-regions, you’ll find the unique tradition of Climats of Burgundy, recognised by UNESCO.

Chablis, located in the northernmost part of Burgundy, is known for its crisp, mineral-driven Chardonnay wines. Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais are located further south and produce more affordable yet still high-quality wines.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

Burgundy will undoubtedly please those interested in history and architecture. The towns are full of charms and will make you feel like you stepped back in time.

Where to head to in Burgundy

Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, is, in my opinion, the best place to visit to discover the region. The old town centre offers remarkable architecture, and you can learn more about two of France’s UNESCO intangible heritage inscriptions, the Climats, terroirs of Burgundy and the gastronomic meal of the French, by visiting the nearby International Cité of Gastronomy and Wine. There are many day trips you can take from Dijon to explore different wine regions in Burgundy, and one of our favourite activities was cycling in the vineyards*.

Chablis is another wine destination that we thoroughly enjoyed while in Burgundy. We had the opportunity to stay in a vineyard at Les Temps Perdus*, which was ideal for everyone to enjoy wine tasting without worrying about a designated driver. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something different and close to nature, you will be seduced by the Lodge Des Grands Crus*.

How to get there

The most convenient way to travel to Dijon is by high-speed train, which is significantly faster than driving. Once you arrive, you can easily join tours to the wineries* (eliminating the need for a designated driver) or take a train to nearby towns such as Beaune. However, if you have enough time to explore the entire region, it’s better to rent a car, particularly if you plan to visit Chablis. If you don’t want to drive, you can find day tours going from Paris to Chablis*.

Loire Valley

What’s special about Loire Valley wines

The Loire Valley is renowned for producing a wide variety of exceptional wines, mostly white. Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Vouvray, Chinon and Saumur are some of the famous names you’ll find in the Loire Valley.

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are located in the eastern part of the Loire Valley and are celebrated for their world-class Sauvignon Blancs. Vouvray, located in the central part of the Loire Valley, is famed for its Chenin Blanc wines, which range from dry to sweet, depending on the style. Chinon, located in the western part of the Loire Valley, is known for producing outstanding red wines from the Cabernet Franc grape variety. Saumur, also located in the western part of the Loire Valley, produces a range of wines, including crisp sparkling wines made in the traditional method. Close to the Atlantic Coast, you’ll find delicious Muscadet wines, made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

The Loire Valley is a truly unique destination with fairytale castles and stunning gardens that can be found throughout the region. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is considered one of the most picturesque wine regions in France, and possibly the world. While some castles such as Chenonceau* or Chambord* may be more famous than others due to their royal connections, each one offers its own distinct beauty, charm and story.

For those looking to take their experience to the next level, consider spending the night in a beautiful castle after a day of wine tasting.

Where to head to in the Loire Valley

With so many beautiful places to visit in the Loire Valley, it can be difficult to choose just one. The city of Tours is a popular option as it offers easy access to local wineries via tours. However, I also highly recommend considering stopping in Amboise. This charming town has a stunning castle in the town centre, unique troglodyte homes to spend the night in, and vineyards just a short distance away. It’s the perfect spot to experience the region’s history, culture, and wine all in one place.

How to get there

If you’re short on time, it’s convenient to catch a train to the main cities in the Loire Valley and join tours to visit the most famous castles and wineries. But if you have more time, I highly recommend exploring the region by car to take your time and discover the hidden gems that the region has to offer, such as charming villages, scenic routes, and lesser-known wineries.

Bordeaux region

Château Soutard in Saint Emilion

What’s special about Bordeaux wines

The Bordeaux region is famous for its full-bodied red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends that you find in the famous Bordeaux and Saint Emilion. They also produce my favourite sweet white wine, Sauternes. In the city of Bordeaux, you’ll find a wine museum where you can learn more about the history and production of the famous wines of Bordeaux. This area has a rich cultural heritage of wine-making traditions. Scheduling your trip to coincide with local processions and wine festivals will give you an unforgettable and authentic experience. I was lucky to randomly visit Saint Emilion during the Jurades, a festival hosted by France’s oldest wine society.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

You can also explore the beautiful city of Bordeaux, known for its remarkable architecture, or venture out into the stunning countryside to visit charming villages, including Saint Emilion, a medieval village designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s ideally located on the Atlantic Ocean coast which offers plenty of beach activities. A popular attraction among visitors is the renowned Dune du Pilat in Arcachon Bay. There’s something for everyone in this picturesque corner of France.

Where to head to in the Bordeaux region

Bordeaux is undoubtedly the biggest and most famous city in the region and a great base to explore the region. But if you can afford it, the Bordeaux region is a great destination for a luxury escape, as you can stay in a Chateau and enjoy a Michelin-starred meal.

How to get there

The high-speed train is an excellent option for travelling to Bordeaux. From the city, you can easily join tours to experience the region’s famous wines at vineyards*, wine cellars or on a relaxing river cruise*.


Reims - Pommery
Reims – Pommery

What’s special about Champagne wines

Champagne is a wine region in the northeast of France and the only place in the world that produces true Champagne. The appellation is protected so all the true Champagne you can think of, Veuve Clicquot, Mumms, Moët et Chandon, or Dom Perignon, are all produced in this region as other sparkling wines are not allowed to be called Champagne.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

The main city in Champagne, Reims, had an important role in French history. Many French kings were crowned at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Notre Dame Cathedral*.

Notre Dame de Reims
Notre Dame de Reims

Where to head to in the Champagne region

Two places are known as the capital of Champagne: Reims and Epernay. I much prefer visiting Reims as there’s a lot to do in this small city and it’s easy to access. Epernay is a lot smaller, but its famous Avenue de Champagne, with 110 kilometres of wine cellars, is hard to skip for bubble lovers.

How to get there

Champagne is the easiest wine region in France to get to. The high-speed train from Paris will take you to Reims in only 45 minutes, and you can then walk for half an hour or catch a taxi to visit a winery in town, Veuve Clicquot*. You’ll find many tours to visit more places, and Epernay is only 20 minutes by train from Reims station. If you don’t want to worry about getting there, you can join a tour from Paris*.

Rhône Valley

What’s special about Rhône Valley wines

This region produces both red and white wines, with the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône and Côte Rôtie being one of the most well-known appellations. The most famous grape varieties used in this French wine region are grenache, syrah, viognier and gamay.

There are no less than 13 different wine roads to explore the Rhône Valley, which can be divided into three sub-regions: the Côteaux-du-Lyonnais in the north (around Lyon), the Rhône septentrional (from Vienne to Valence) and Rhône méridional in the south (from Orange/Montélimar to Avignon).

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

Lyon is a beautiful historic city located in the heart of the Rhône Valley, and it’s known as the world’s capital of gastronomy, so you’re in for a great foodie trip when you visit the Rhône Valley. More south, Avignon is a remarkable city with the Palais des Papes, Pont Saint-Bénézet, and the charming old town centre. Just out of the wine region, the Ardèche area and its stunning gorges will seduce nature lovers.

Where to head to in the Rhône Valley

From Lyon, you can easily explore the different places in the region and even book tours to avoid having to drive. Plus, Lyon is also a stunning city with its entire old town recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Another good option is Avignon, in the south of the Rhône Valley region and close to Provence, another reputed French wine region.

How to get there

Lyon is the second-biggest city in France so it’s very easy to get there. There are many high-speed trains going from Paris to Lyon in only two hours.


What’s special about Alsace wines

This region produces mainly white wines, including delicious Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris. Visitors can stop at over 70 wineries on the Alsace Wine Route, France’s oldest wine route.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

You’ll be charmed by the fairytale-like villages in Alsace and their unique blend of French and German influences with lovely half-timbered houses and narrow streets, such as Colmar and Riquewihr. The Alsace Wine Route passes through picturesque villages, for example Eguisheim from the 12th century, and historic landmarks like the Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle. If you’re visiting around Christmas time, Alsace has a very unique atmosphere that will seduce those who love the holiday season.

Where to head to in Alsace

I recommend staying in Colmar when visiting Alsace. It’s a very charming town well-positioned on the Alsace Wine Route. Many wine tours leave from Colmar, which is ideal to explore the region and taste wines without worrying about driving.

How to get there

It only takes 2hrs20 to get to Colmar from Paris by train.


What’s special about Provence wines

Provence is mostly known for its rosé wines, which account for over 80% of the region’s total wine production. The warm and sunny climate allows the grapes to bring out all their richness. The Bandol appellation, which also produces some red and white wines, is one of the most famous in Provence, and they’ve been growing wine there for no less than 25 centuries.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

Provence is a popular destination for those looking for a sunny escape on the Mediterranean Coast and the French Riviera. The south of France is often reputed for its more relaxed lifestyle, and visitors love strolling in the beautiful streets of Provence villages. Provence also has some of the most reputed French gorges (Luberon and Verdon) and very photogenic lavender fields in summer.

Where to head to in Provence

There are many fantastic options for visiting Provence. One of my favourites is Aix-en-Provence. It’s easy to access, and you can join many tours to explore the beautiful places in the region.

How to get there

Aix-en-Provence is on the high-speed train line from Paris to Marseille (via Lyon), the three biggest cities in France.


What’s special about Languedoc-Roussillon wines

This large wine region in southern France produces a third of France’s wines, including red blends and rosés. To put it into perspective, in 2001, the region is known to have produced more wines than the United States. With a favourable Mediterranean climate, the region grows a wide variety of grapes and excels in mass production. While you may not find the most exceptional French wines in Languedoc-Roussillon, you will encounter many picturesque wineries, sometimes set against the stunning backdrop of the Pyrenees.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

One of the top attractions of the region is the walled city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the Roman Empire. Nîmes and its nearby Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge, are also must-visit spots. The impressive aqueduct, which dates back to the 1st century AD, is one of the world’s most well-preserved examples of Roman engineering. For nature lovers, the Gorges du Tarn offers incredible scenery and adventures, while beach lovers will enjoy Cap d’Agde.

Where to head to in Languedoc-Roussillon

I recommend staying in Narbonne when visiting Languedoc-Roussillon. The town is renowned for its historic architecture, beautiful canal-lined streets and excellent wine bars and restaurants. You’ll find vineyards near Narbonne, including one of the world’s oldest planted vineyards, dating back to the 5th century BC. Plus, Narbonne is located close to other sub-regions in Languedoc-Roussillon, with Carcassonne in the west and Nîmes in the north, making it the perfect base for wine lovers exploring the region.

How to get there

Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the southernmost regions of France, near the border with Spain. While driving there from northern France takes a while, Nîmes is only a 3-hour high-speed train ride from Paris. Narbonne is also easily accessible by train, with regular high-speed trains departing from Paris Gare de Lyon and arriving at Narbonne station in approximately 4hrs20 minutes.


What’s special about Jura wines

Nestled between Burgundy and Switzerland in eastern France, Jura is a small region renowned for its unique wines made from exclusive local grape varieties like Savagnin and Poulsard. With a cool climate that produces unusual wines such as vin jaune (yellow wine) and crémant (sparkling wine), Jura’s winemaking tradition dates back to medieval times.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

One of the first things that come to mind if you mention Jura to French people is the Jura Mountains. Don’t expect the Alps, but you’ll find there good opportunities for hiking or skiing depending on the time of your visit. Nature lovers will also like to explore the Cascades du Hérisson (waterfall) and Lac de Vouglans (lake). Last, but not least, a visit to Jura wouldn’t be complete without tasting the local cheeses, particularly the world-famous Comté cheese.

Where to head to in Jura

The two main towns in Jura are Lons-le-Saunier and Arbois. I recommend heading to Arbois, located in the heart of Jura’s wine country and known as the wine capital of the region. Here you can explore the Museum of Jura Wine in Arbois.

How to get there

There are no direct trains from Paris to Arbois. Instead, you can catch a high-speed train to Dole (2 hours) and hire a car for the 30-minute drive to Arbois.

Southwest France

What’s special about Southwest France wines

South of Bordeaux, the massive wine region of the Southwest of France is composed of three main sub-regions, Dordogne/Bergerac, Garonne and Gascony/Bearn lands, and they are not all close to each other. The wine road from Bergerac in the north to the Bearn lands in the south is approximately 800km long.

One of the region’s most famous wines is the sweet white Jurançon from Bearn lands, made from local grape varieties like Gros MansengPetit Manseng and Courbu. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – the Southwest of France is known for having a diverse range of wines to please every palate.

Other reasons to visit this French wine region

Southwest France is also famous for its brandy-producing region, Armagnac, located in Gascony. Visitors can also enjoy the region’s delicious cuisine and stunning natural landscapes, with charming villages dotted throughout the countryside.

Where to head to in Southwest France

If you’re interested in exploring Jurançon specifically, make your way to the city of Pau, which is the closest city to the famous wine in the south of the region. For those who prefer a more central location, the cities of Montauban and Agen make great bases for exploring the wine regions of Southwest France.

How to get there

You can take a high-speed train from Paris to Agen in just 3hrs15 minutes or reach Montauban in under 4 hours. Pau is a little further, 4hrs20 minutes away. Once you arrive, hiring a car is the best way to explore the different wine regions at your own pace.

Other wine regions in France

Winery in the French Alps (near Serre-Ponçon)

Why not venture off the beaten path and explore lesser-known French wine regions? As you wander around France, you may be surprised to find wineries in almost any region south of Paris. Sometimes, a detour from the usual wine routes allows you to discover some gems and have unique, more intimate experiences.

For instance, did you know that the Savoie region, known for its picturesque Alpine scenery and the beautiful town of Annecy, is actually a wine region? The Savoie-Bugey area is one of the smallest wine regions in France, but its unique terroir produces some interesting wines. And it’s not the only place where you’ll find wineries in the mountains: we visited wineries during our summer holidays in the French Alps near Lake Serre Ponçon.

The Lorraine region, situated between Champagne and Alsace, is another interesting destination for wine lovers. Although the region was once an important wine region, it was devastated by phylloxera and the two World Wars. Today, it is a small wine region mostly known for its grey Gamay wine, the Gris de Toul. The region’s main city, Nancy, is well worth exploring for its stunning architecture and rich history.

Map of the main cities in the best wine regions in France

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Eloise is the creator and writer of She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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