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French Wines

Can France claim to be the modern home of the vine. How else can you explain the worldwide influence of French wine styles? From Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy and many other French wine regions, wines have been exported around the globe and winemakers around the world have tried to copy them. French wine is not simply a reflection of terroir, climate and skills of the winemaker, they are also bound up with the history and culture of France. Would we, the British still have a love affair with Bordeaux claret had it not been for the marriage of Henry the Second and Eleanor of Aquitaine? Would the wines of the Southern Rhone have found favour, if it were not for the ambitious aims of Pope Clement the Fifth and his rival papacy in Avignon? It is not just in the styles of wines that France has been a trendsetter. French wine laws are also the blueprints from which most other countries cherry pick for their own. French wine laws arte based around the concept of terroir. This is an ambiguous term with no real translation into English which covers the interaction between geology of the soil but also the micro climates formed by the topography of the districts. The influence of terroir affects the choice of grape variety, the method of training the vine and the individuality of the district. A France without French wine? Unimaginable!

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