In 2004 it was still essentially an economy based on family farms. For a long time, the wine of France covering nearly 450 names and only a few tens of thousands of small towns, despite its fabulous potential, little effort was made to sell the wine, except for the elitist clubs "great vintages" (Grands crus) or "Champagne".
One reason for the importance of France in wine lies in the extraordinary range of wines produced. The diversity of climates and soils allows from white light to produce powerful red wines. Each region of France has its typical wines closely with the local cuisine.
French wines are one of the oldest cultures of the vine, its origin is its source at the time of the Roman Empire. France is one of the two superpowers with wine and Italy share the title of world's largest producer. French wines are a reflection of a number of additional factors, such as strain, climate, soil, and obviously all the attention devoted to the vintner their vines. This deep knowledge of soils, climates and the vineyard which has led to the winemakers to enhance their wines without ceasing, to control and defend always better quality.
The term of the territory (terroir) from which the wine is indicated on the label of the bottle. The terroir is a very French notion that can recognize each wine a personality that is given by the vinifera variety used, the land on which the vines are planted, the microclimates of those taking advantage of the expertise of the tenants who grown, vinified and sold, and many other things that may seem insignificant as the quality of the wine or the wooden barrels. As regards the European Union wine distinguishes two headings:
Quality wines produced in a region bounded (Vins de Qualité Produits dans une Région Délimitée - VQPRD)
Denomination of Controlled Origin (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée - AOC)
This category is subdivided into other specific depending on what it's wine. A higher quality more specific:
AOC - Region
As the AOC Bordeaux, AOC Bourgogne, AOC Alsace, ...
As the AOC Médoc, AOC Haut Médoc, AOC Graves, ...
As the AOC Pauillac, AOC Saint Estéphe, AOC Sauternes, ...
Delimited Wine Appellation of Origin of Superior Quality (Appellation d'Origine Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure - AOVDQS)
Very often a springboard to the AOC.
Table Wines (Vins de Table)
Wines accordance with the laws and judged unfit for consumption.
Country wine (Vins de Pays - VdP)
They can be "departmental Wine Country" (produced in a department, such as Vin de Pays de l'Aude), local wine country "zone" (produced in a more restricted area the department: a place name, some slopes ...) wine country or regional (produced in a "region" as meaning non-administrative local wines as Portes de Méditerranée).
Table Wine from France (Vins de Table - VdT)
The grapes come exclusively from France.
There are also within the AOC, an internal system that distinguishes between "Crus", "Premiers Crus", "Grands crus" or other designations, but differs by region. In general, the term cru vineyard premium, payment or terroir, is the sense that you have within AOC Grand Cru wines and what the Academy dictionary defines as "given district land or lands, especially vineyards or olive groves. "In Burgundy grand crus and premiers crus are owned several, while one cru Bordeaux is an individual. Cru also part of expressions like vin du cru, in the sense of local wine or wine is also the breeding cru, which must mature first barrel and then bottled.