France France and wine are inextricably linked. No other country produces such a wide array of different wine styles, so deeply bedded into the history and culture of its regions. France's variety of growing conditions couldn't be better suited to wine. Mediterranean, Atlantic, Alpine, river and continental influences all come into play, helping an amazing array of grape varieties to thrive. French wine has also benefited from being organised into strict appellations, limiting certain grapes to specific regions. Formed in the 1920s, the appellation contrôlée system might now appear rigid and restricting, especially when compared to today's free planting and experimentation as practiced in the New World. However, it has set down a series of classic wine styles that are admired (and emulated) the world over. Watch Tony Laithwaite talking about France In this video, Tony Laithwaite talks about France's phenomenal range of wines, from established classics to lesser-known appellations worth exploring. Popular grapes Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir Famous Producers Latour, Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Michel Chapoutier Principal regions Alsace, Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Rhône, Languedoc Climate Maritime, continental Did you know? Wine has been made in south of France since the 6th century BC - the first vines were planted by Greek voyagers. France has more of the precious limestone bedrock - so desirable for vine cultivation - than any other country. France makes more wine than any other country and has a total vineyard area second only to that of Spain. The world's 10 most expensive wines are all French. You might like to try ... Domaine Gau 2011 Groundbreaking Shiraz Viognier from the Midi crafted by Parker rated winemaker Hervé Sabardeil Rate this wine France Shiraz Still Red Wine £8.49 a bottle £8.49 a bottle 12 bottles £101.88 1 bottle £8.49 C6385900|101.88|12|0|0 Q6385900|8.49|1|0|0 QTY Please confirm that you wish to reserve this wine for future delivery Reserve this case? Blanc Neuf la Bastide 2011 Gold medal winning, Châteauneuf style white of immense charm and perfect maturity Rate this wine France White Blend Still White Wine £8.99 a bottle £8.99 a bottle 12 bottles £107.88 1 bottle £8.99 C2859500|107.88|12|0|0 Q2859500|8.99|1|0|0 QTY Please confirm that you wish to reserve this wine for future delivery Reserve this case? Chante-Clair NV Brilliantly evocative French country red that combines Old World charm with modern winemaking Read the reviews France Red Blend Still Red Wine £5.49 a bottle £6.49 a bottle £6.49 a bottle £6.49 a bottle 12 bottles £65.88 (When you buy 12 other bottles) Save £12.00 12 bottles £77.88 6 bottles £38.94 1 bottle £6.49 C6385810|65.88|12|4|53 C6385809|77.88|12|4|53 Q6385800|6.49|1|4|53 B6385808|38.94|6|4|53 QTY Please confirm that you wish to reserve this wine for future delivery Reserve this case?