Talk:French wine

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Canada wine[edit]

BTW- Our wine industry in Canada has been doing great in recent competitions. See the St. Catharines Wine Tasting of 2005 and the Ottawa Wine Tasting of 2005.Ted Howell 15:49, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Ottawa Wine Tasting of 2005 article has been deleted Steve.Moulding 20:32, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

BTW- tasters at The St. Catharines Wine Tasting of 2005 were all Canadian and included writers for Canadian wine magazines, professors and students at the local University, and 8 members of the Ontario wine industry(!). Nothing against Canadian wine, but this trumpeting of the results of this (minor) tasting needs to be kept in perspective. Steve.Moulding 20:55, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Largest Production?[edit]

I have always heard that Italy produced the most wine in the world, often in the context of it being underappreciated outside Italy! See here for example, although those figures are from 1998 and show Italy just slightly ahead and Italian production decining faster than French. I've heard mentioned that France produces the most 'quality' wine in the world, whatever that means, presumably wine over a certain base price threshold. Maybe the most wine in bottles rather than Tetrapak :-) -- Blorg 19:28, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Rallying the Troops[edit]

Having browsed around the French Wine entries in Wikipedia, I have to say that in general, the representation of French wine here is in a shambles. Far from wishing only to complain, I plan on adding what I can. There's certainly a lot to be done. Is anyone else interested in rallying a concerted effort to make the entries on French Wine full and informative? --BridgeBurner 19:15, 7 March 2006 (UTC)


It is my view that much of French wine is infected with a negative POV. There is much talk of the problems facing French wine here and elsewhere which are very real and germane. However, not only are the problems listed in a much larger volume compared to any other type of information, but they are often accompanies with a promotion of some other type of wine. There are also written in an extremely sweeping assumptive language as if the editor knows what a large population wants or needs. The more I delve into this, the more I assume a vested interest by the editor(s) involved. It seems that there are few editors present in Wikipedia that care enough about French wine to promote an unbiased viewpoint, so it seems these edits have been allowed to infiltrate almost every level. I appeal to the editor(s) in question to define their motivation to further a pretty bald bias. --BridgeBurner 18:44, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. It is infected and attempts to promote some wines. This occurs in several articles. Are grape varieties that important for the consumer? In here the trend is the wine region followed by brand. And most wines mix different grape varieties. --Pedro 14:18, 13 March 2006 (UTC
Dear BridgeBurner- Please see the message I left on your talk page several days ago. In the meantime, I'm workiing on a general wine competitions page. Best regards.David Justin
I wonder about our current statistic that American importation of wine from France dropped 50% in 2003. I had previously read that this "boycott" was largely a fabrication of anti-French individuals like Bill O'Reilly and that there was little or no discernable impact on the economy. 10:59, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Negative POV, indeed: "'s becoming increasingly difficult for French producers to compete internationally, and in traditional French fashion, they are beginning to surrender." Perhaps the article would be better off without this cheap crack at the French. --Benwk 13:56, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the biased vandalism.Cloudy Bay 18:34, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Relevant French wine article up for deletion[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Problems in the French Wine Industry has been put up for deletion. A potential outcome could be a request to merge the relevant information into this article so any input (or improvements) that could be given from the editors of this article would be appreciated. Agne 20:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


This is an English-language entry so one should use Burgundy.

Attribution note[edit]

Some of the content in the Organizations section is from the merged article L'Office national interprofessionnel des vins. AgneCheese/Wine 03:48, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Introduction of article[edit]

I'm quite unhappy with the way the article starts right now. This is an article on French wine, not about the history of French wine. While the history is quite interesting, the first 9 lines of the article (in my browser) are only about history; they would belong better in a history section. Tomas e (talk) 20:43, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm surprise there is not already a history section, heck I'm surprise we don't have a History of French wine article already. But I agree with your assessment that the lead needs some reworking. While it should include a brief summary of history about France's first vineyards and monumental events like phylloxera, at the bare minimum the lead should include comments on where France ranks in world production (sort of like the current third paragraph but it is a little inaccurate since Italy surpasses Frances in some years) and a overview of the major wine regions as well as a brief touch on the concept of terroir. AgneCheese/Wine 22:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Paris in the Atlantic?[edit]

My geography is a bit sketchy, but I seem to remember that Paris is somewhere inland on the Seine. However, I was surprised to see on the wine map that it is now a huge island off the West coast of France. On a serious note it seems unnecessary as Paris doesn't itself produce wine that the 'island' can be removed from the map. If of course someone has moved Paris please ignore this. Macgruder (talk) 09:22, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, there is a Paris, Texas, so why not a Paris, Atlantic? :-) On a more serious note, the magnification of the Paris area, set to the left of the French mainland is obviously quite irrelevant to a map of French wine regions. I replaced it with another, much less cluttered and more stylized map. Tomas e (talk) 02:24, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Thoughts on getting this article up to a B[edit]

Here are some thoughts on ways to get this article up to a B class:

  • Referencing. While not horrendous, there are a couple section and several important claims that need referencing.
  • The Lead section could use some editorial discretion in accordance to WP:LEAD. While a lot of wine articles have the opposite problem of not having enough of a summary, this one actually has too much and several details that are not found in the rest of the article.
  • The history section is missing ALOT of important detail. It is not bad considering that until a few weeks ago, this article didn't have a history section at all. In the long run there problem should be a History of French wine article with this section serving as a summary. In the meantime though, a B class article would have a more well developed history section.
  • There could be more details and summary about the Vin de Pays system, especially since those wines are developing more of an emerging presence on the world's wine market.
  • Wine Regions-This area has certainly been improved in the last few weeks but I think the "Big 6" regions (Bordeaux, Loire, Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Rhone---maybe Languedoc & Provence) should probably have at least a paragraph summary leading into their main articles. It is hard to truly be an overview of "French wine" without providing some summary about these regions.
  • Trends section seems awfully OR. Ideally it should be referencing and merged into the history section as part of "Modern day"
  • Wine styles. Currently it is merged into a grape variety section. Ideally this should probably be split out into its own section and go into some summary about the particular sparkling, fortified, botrytized wines. Maybe also a brief touch on Cognac and wine based spirits like Kir.
  • Climate & Geography. Some type of summary about major features like rivers, Massif Central, Mistral winds etc and the varying influences of continental, maritime and Mediterranean climates. Brief summary on different soil types in the major regions.
  • Terroir section could do a little better summary than a few lines. It maybe best to merge it into the intro on the Wine region section as a segway.
  • Culture and Food pairing section Two MAJOR topics on the relationship of French wine to the culture and cuisine of France. AgneCheese/Wine 01:37, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Good thoughts, although I think that if everything in the list was fixed, it would reasonably be a GA. The trends section could probably be split between the history section and a new "commercial aspects" section, but here more than for many other parts, extensive referencing is needed. Not just because it could be OR, it's POV-prone territory where some edits may want to either engage in France-bashing or defend the gloire of the world's #1 wine country. IMHO, wine and food pairing is an even more difficult subject than description of wine flavours if you want to avoid POV. But perhaps there are better sources than I'm aware of. Tomas e (talk) 11:40, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I've done some of the things listed (VdP, Wine regions), though a cleanup and expansion may be needed. Regarding the "trend" section: Is it really needed? Why not delete it all together? After all, from what I read, the "trend" is very alternating, sometimes prominent wine personalities declares french wine "dead" or "struggeling" sometimes it's the latest craze and have been "reborn" and so on. I see a hornets nest that just begs for a lot of PoV and all that follows.--Nwinther (talk) 09:25, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps "trends" was a badly chosen term; what I meant was "developments of the last few decades" as distinct from "history over several centuries". Things like decreasing domestic consumption, increased new world competition, vineyard restructuring, improvement in southern France, branding and changing labelling practices, more corporate influence...
By the way, I disagree strongly with your classification of several regions into a bunch of "less prominent regions". You could probably put Jura and Savoy under such a label because of their very limited production, but there is no way that you can label Languedoc-Roussillon (by far the largest region, and arguably the one where most new things have happened over the last decade or two) and South-West (parts of which had a quality reputation centuries before Bordeaux) as "less prominent" without being very POV. To me, that's more upscale wine guide thinking than encyclopedic writing. Tomas e (talk) 12:14, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Then call it something else. I may be wrong, but I don't see any of those regions as particularily prominent. They have a history, repeat history, of producing bulk wine. Not wine of prominence. And while the regions may be large, that hardly constitutes prominence. Arien is the worlds most planted vine. But it's hardly a prominent grape. It was simply a way of echoing Agne27's "to-do"-list. You can call it "other regions" or you can make a level 2 heading for all of them. I'm not trying to be in the make an upscale anything. Regarding the Trend-discussion, we should move it to the history-section as "recent history" or something. And if we decide to keep it, we should keep an eye on it, as it's an area open to change (obviously). And if someone's read the newest rant from some critic (and someone will), they might want to put that in there. Reminds me of a line once written on Chateau Petrus, that Parker now found Penfold's Grange to be a superiour wine.--Nwinther (talk) 12:29, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't really see the need for grouping the regions into "quality classes" in the overview article. The description of each region and the history section will make it obvious that Bordeaux has been traded for long, that Champagne is the world's most noted sparkling wine and so on. But we do need better sourcing for this article! Tomas e (talk) 13:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I've made some edits, added a few sources and a picture et al. - However, I think the article lacks some technical data, such as amount of wine produced, area under vines and so on and so forth. Is there some tempelate we can borrow from somewhere, that we can institute on more pages (italian wine, american wine, german wine etc.)?--Nwinther (talk) 16:04, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I was thinking about the referencing of the page. I'm looking into a rewrite of the "big 6+" section to expand them slightly, and came to think of the referencing of those sections. How do we reference on summaries that are throughly referenced in their proper articles? Do I find new (my own) sources or do I rely on the ones in the proper article (and don't source at all in theses segments)?--Nwinther (talk) 08:33, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm looking to give this article another go. It seems to have stalled despite being the wine-drive on Wikiproject Wine. However, I'd like it if someone (Agne?) would review his list of 18 february 2008 (above). Nice to have a to-do-list. Any thoughts?--Nwinther (talk) 12:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Sure, I'll have some free time tomorrow and I'll take another look. AgneCheese/Wine 17:41, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Logo-vigneron Thmb.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Logo-vigneron Thmb.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 13:23, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

à la propriété[edit]

.. does not, in this context, mean "at the estate", but "at the cooperative". In a few cases the grapes will be vinified separately and the wine bottled under the name of the grower's 'chateau', but most growers simply sell their grapes to the cooperative (getting paid by quantity and sugar content). Philip Trueman (talk) 13:42, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, the statement about what "au domaine" means is wrong as well, as far as I can say... But what this article really needs are not just corrected statements, but reliably sourced statements. Feel free to help... Tomas e (talk) 16:25, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

50 million hectoliters[edit]

I'm an American, which is apparently a dangerous thing to be on this page, but I notice that the production estimates are 50-60 million hectoliters. To me, this would sound better as 5-6 gigaliters or 5-6 billion liters. 50-60 million hectoliters just sounds odd. Are hectoliters commonly used to measure quanitites of wine? I know that hecto- and deca- don't get much love, but I propose changing the phrasing here. Anyway, I'm off to McDonald's to whine, sod-off, and look for France on the map of Asia on the back of the placemat. Chaotic42 (talk) 23:39, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Hectoliter is the standard measure for larger quantities of wine. Almost all wine statistics is reported in hl (rather than liter or m3), so it's the unit that facilitates comparison across countries and sources. Feel free to add the same figure in additional measures (the number of bottles have been calculated for the benefit of the general reader), but please do not change the basic figure, since it's actually quoted from the source given. I assume that the historical background is that most wine barrels are a couple of hl in size (Barrique bordelaise = 225 l, for example), so it has stuck as the most convenient metric (if not basic SI) measure at winery level. Statistics for grapes harvest is usually in tonnes, while vineyards are in hectares (Europe) or acres (e.g. US). Tomas e (talk) 00:11, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, I didn't know that. In that case, I think it's fine. I suppose we could put "(~1.4 billion US gallons)" after the figure, but I don't think it's a requirement. It's just as hard to visualize 1.4B gallons as it is to visualize 5GL.Chaotic42 (talk) 00:39, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Updated thoughts on improvement[edit]

This article has certainly improved significantly since I last reviewed it. Here are some thoughts on future improvement.

  • The "summary" history section is a little disjointed and needs to be fleshed out a little more. It certainly doesn't need to include everything, especially now that we have a splinter history article, but it probably needs about 2 full paragraphs in order to give a broad overview of the history.
  • The Quality levels and appellation system section needs some referencing but overall seems to cover the topic well.
  • The Wine styles and grape varieties section needs significant referencing and a little NPOV revision. My comments from Feb still have some relevance as much more content could be added. It may be worth to start the section off talking about the different styles (sparkling, fortified, etc) and then create a sub-header about grape varieties and their association with major region. If we have a reliable, updated source-maybe a listing of the top 10 grape varieties by plantings would be helpful as well.
  • The Labeling practices section needs referencing. It could use some expansion but I'm wondering if that would be too much content. We may want to think about creating a French wine label splinter, similar to the German wine label article.
  • The Terroir section seems out of place. II t could be either expanded to a more full fledged section or maybe incorporated as a sub-section of the Quality levels and appellation system section since it is intimately connected.
  • The Wine regions of France is a tricky part. With the short 1-3 line sections, it looks pretty bad. But at the same time, this is a section that could easily overwhelm the article. I mentioned in my Feb assessment that I think the "Big Six" should have at least a strong paragraph worth of content and I still think that is needed. Some of the smaller regions like Jura, Corsica and Southwest France should maybe grouped into a sub heading titled "Other regions". I'm also wondering if it is worthwhile to make another splinter French wine regions which could go more indepth about each regions and scrap this entire section in lieu a summary style.
  • The Trends section should probably be incorporated into the history section, at least as a sub-section. It also needs a good POV scrubbing and referencing.
  • The Organizations section with its one line should either be eliminated or expanded. There is some benefit in keeping the content and expanding it to include some of the major regional organizations.
  • The only significant section that I think is missing is something commenting on the role of wine in French culture. This is touched upon in the lead but there is no where else in the article where it is given more extensive treatment. It would be a tricky section to write, and one that needs rock solid references, but if it could be done it would be a very educational and important part of the article. AgneCheese/Wine 19:37, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Agne. I agree with most of your thoughts. However the Wine regions of France problem is touched upon in your original assessment. Tomas e doesn't agree with this "selection" where we (you and I) emphazises a small group of regions and, well neglects the rest. To me, emphazising the big six makes sense. It doesn't make sense to equalize all regions in, say USA, then why should it be so in France. However Tomas e has a valid point. So unless we can reach some sort of agreement, I think we should go with the way it looks now. The "culture" thingy will be difficult, but I'll look into it. I'll cross out each paragraph as I finish (everyone is welcome to join in).--Nwinther (talk) 20:51, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Well I think we should be mindful of WP:UNDUE. As interesting as the wines of Jura and Savoie are, there is no balanced encyclopedic reason that they should be devoted equal space to Burgundy or the Loire Valley. I think our coverage should be on par with what is found in reliable sources like Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia or Jancis Robinson's Wine Course where major regions are giving significantly more coverage than minor ones. Take for example Sotheby's with the breakdown of pages per regions. AgneCheese/Wine 23:03, 3 December 2008 (UTC)`
  • Bordeaux-68 pages
  • Burgundy-34 pages
  • Champagne-15 pages
  • Alsace-12 pages
  • Loire-17 pages
  • Rhone-11 pages
  • Jura & Savoie-4 pages
  • Southwest France-7 pages
  • Languedoc-8 pages
  • Provence & Corsica-5 pages
I must say that I'm surprised to see Sotheby having such a weak coverage of Languedoc-Roussillon and Sud-Ouest! To me, that seems like taking a bit outdated view on French wine. Other figures to consider could be production volume, economic volume, number of appellations... Tomas e (talk) 00:32, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the "Wine in french culture"-part, wouldn't it be useful to get one from the France-project to look into that? Most of my material on Wine only deals with that subject superficially.Nwinther (talk) 12:18, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

The lead[edit]

I note the article as a whole is already the topic of some discussion, but particularly with some recent changes, the lead is getting very unwieldy (I note someone's just tagged it as too long) and also probably a little too exuberant in saying how great French wine is and in making generalisations, eg with phrases like "the world leader regarding not only quantity but also quality", "many other countries find inspiration in the french [AOC] system", "French wine plays an important role in French identity and pride" etc. Plus isn't it standard for the lead to start "French wine [per the article's full name] is ..."? Currently it does more of less cover all the key points (as below), so I guess it just needs some copyediting and the removal of both some of the detail/wordiness and some of the broader generalisations -

  • Production levels, history, prestige (and the fact that the main grape varieties are now planted throughout the world and the key styles are imitated and copied. Or over-imitated if you will)
  • Terroir/AOC
  • Link to food
  • Recent issues (eg decline in domestic consumption, greater competition in world markets, split between the elite producers and the rest)

It should be possible to keep to a very brief neutral/factual paragraph on each, and leave it a manageable size overall? --Nickhh (talk) 19:08, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Further to the above I thought I'd post a proposed draft here rather than plonk it in the article immediately. Grateful for any thoughts - I've based it mostly on previous versions, but just stripped quite a bit out -

French wine is produced in several regions throughout France on over 800,000 hectares (over 2 million acres) of vineyards. In a typical year between 50 and 60 million hectolitres of wine is produced, or some 7 to 8 billion bottles. France has the world's second-largest total vineyard area (behind Spain) and competes with Italy for the position of having the world's largest wine production. The history of French wine goes back to the 6th century BCE, with many of France's regions dating their wine-making history to Roman times. The wines produced today range from expensive high-end wines sold internationally, to more modest wines usually only seen within France.
Two concepts central to higher end French wines are the notion of “terroir”, which links the style of the wines to the specific locations where the grapes are grown and the wine is made, and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Appellation rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are allowed in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or even specific vineyards.
France is the source of many grape varieties (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah) that are now planted throughout the world, as well as several wine-making practices and styles of wine that are copied and imitated in other producing countries. Although some producers have benefited in recent years from the increased demand and prices for some of the prestige wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, the French wine industry as a whole has suffered from a decline in domestic consumption as well as growing competition from both the New World and other European countries.

--Nickhh (talk) 09:05, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Looks fine to meNwinther (talk) 09:09, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
OK, well that's one vote! I'll swap them over and people can always add in any small points that they feel are missing (for example it doesn't tackle the food issue). Other than that I think it's got about the right level of introductory detail - more info is there in the main part of the article of course.--Nickhh (talk) 09:35, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm the one who tagged the lead as too long. It's still on the long side, but more importantly, your version is much better in terms of neutrality. Thanks. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:02, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Mis en bouteille ...[edit]

I am going to rewrite this, giving a footnote for the two very important details that I am changing. If anyone thinks that I (and the website I cite) have got this wrong, by all means correct me and cite another source!

The translation "domaine" = "field" was just a simple mistake: no need to cite a source for changing that, I think. No one can imagine that wines are bottled "at the field", surely. Andrew Dalby 18:52, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Although it now says that bottled at the domaine means it was bottled where it was grown (or at a co-op), and means it is the product of a single vineyard - isn't that still a little restrictive? --Nickhh (talk) 11:04, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

hola —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:39, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm thinking about to start vandalising American pages...[edit]

"the typical French person drank local wine and, although proud of France's reputation for making some of the world's outstanding wines, knew relatively little about them"

Why is this phrase in wikipedia ?

I'm growing pretty tired of the obvious vandalism that permeates all the France-related articles. If you tiresome, whining Americans don't have something better to do than to vandalise wikipedian pages please just sod off! I removed the links, because both of them was very critical towards the French wine industry and is an ill disguised POV...

So. That's what you call thinking? The most vandalized articles in this so called encyclopedia are American and it's done by whining Europeans which includes you British. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:06, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Grape Varieties[edit]

This is incomplete: for example the is omitted. I don't have access to the stats, but it's worth a better look, and the figures being dated, as they will evolve over time. Richardhod (talk) 13:03, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Photo Caption[edit]

This is the current caption to one of the photos in the article: "French wines are usually made to accompany food." It seems a rather sweeping (and fairly false) statement. Should it be changed? I think it should be changed. But I don't have the wikinerve to change it... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

  • why it seems false to you? to me it sounds quite trivial. But the article is written for a global audience, for instance Asians.

Anyway, is the wine consumption decreasing in Latin Europe? That sounds misleading. In the past in here (northern portugal) people bought 5L wine bottles. In recent years, it is a whole world apart, it is trendy and healthier than drinking soda drinks filled with sugar, people search for better quality and moderation now, and buy 750ml bottles, as people are going away from Soda, they redevelop the taste and pleasure of wines, after some time, a good idea is moving to drinking water after leaving sugar-filled soda drinks, and then to wine, and see the results on their skin appearance, weight and drinking pleasure. --Pedro (talk) 12:40, 20 April 2012 (UTC)


The page says: L'Office national interprofessionnel des vins, abbreviated ONIVINS, is a French association of vintners.

ONIVINS doesn't exist anymore. This governlment agency has been merged with others to form, first, VINIFLHOR, then FranceAgriMer. It has never been an association of vintners, but a government agency, whose mission is to control the application of French laws about vineyard planting and quality, to produce socio-economic data on grapevine sector and to support experimentations.


A French reader (talk) 11:12, 14 February 2013 (UTC)