The French did not invent winemaking. They simply perfected it. For centuries, France has been producing wines that inspire poetry, awe, and wonder; wines that blur the lines between nature, craftsmanship, cuisine and art. These are the wines that inspired cultures around the globe to follow in France’s footsteps, planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Semillon and more.
Yet as often as they are emulated, the magic of their terroirs can never be duplicated. You may taste Cabernet from around the world, but perhaps none as elegant and regal as Bordeaux. You may try Pinot Noir or Chardonnay from various climates, but none with the earth-bound soul and ethereal reach of Burgundy. You may drink sparkling wine from many countries, but there is only one Champagne. Likewise, the Syrah of the Northern Rhône and the Malbec of Cahors are unlike any expression of those grapes you will find in California, Argentina, Australia or elsewhere. And let us not forget Alsace, which sets the international standard for Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris, or the Loire Valley and its one-of-a-kind Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
It may take a relatively short time to learn about these regions and grape varieties, but a lifetime to understand them.