Planning a trip to France and are looking for some of the top wineries in France you need to visit? France is magical and full of so much history, delicious food and of course wine!
Did you know that there are approximately 2,900 wine varieties in France and 200 are indigenous wine varieties? There are 11 major wine regions to visit in France to keep you busy.
You should try to visit at least one winery during your trip to France. Is there anything better than drinking wine in France?
Here are some of the top recommended wineries in France to visit during your trip to France. Once in France, make sure to visit some of the top castles as well.
Top Wineries in France Worth Visiting
Bernadette Young of Live a Relaxed Life
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
Reims is a train ride away from Paris and in an hour visitors are in champagne country. Many world-famous vineyards can be found in the city, one of which is Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. The iconic champagne has a surprisingly feminist beginning.
At the time when women were not allowed to own or run a business, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin was newly widowed in 1805. As such, she did not have to follow social conventions and proposed that she take over the family business.
After an apprenticeship, her father-in-law gave over the reins of running the champagne business to her. Barbe-Nicole is credited with growing the champagne business outside of France.
She also created the first rosé and the riddling rack, which is used to make champagne crystal clear, both processes are still employed to this day in the industry.
Aside from the region’s perfect weather to grow the grapes, there are underground caves carved from chalk where the wine is fermented into champagne.
Many of the caves go as far back as the Roman Empire. The caves are part of the Veuve Clicquot winery tour where guides give a brief history of the company, the champagne-making process, and finally a tasting.
The brand is recognized by its yellow labels which first came about when they started selling Brut champagne. The label was necessary to differentiate it from the sweet champagne that they were known for.
Eventually, the yellow was trademarked and used for all the labels and materials associated with the brand.
There are a number of wineries open for tours and once visitors have had their fill of champagne they can visit the Reims Cathedral which is the traditional coronation site of French kings.
The cathedral was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Gothic and Romanesque architecture.
Shannon from Traveling Teacher Girl
Any trip to the French wine region is not complete without a trip to the Champagne region. There are many famous champagne houses in this region, including Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon. However, some of the best champagne in this region can be found in some of the smaller and less well-known champagne houses.
One small champagne house that is a must-visit in the Champagne region is Janisson Baradon. The Janisson Baradon tasting room is located in the center of Épernay. They are open for tasting flights every day of the week, and reservations can be made in advance through their website.
They offer tasting flights that include five of their champagnes, as well as several options for purchasing and shipping bottles of champagne.
Janisson Baradon grows their grapes a few miles outside of town at their vineyard. Vineyard tours are sometimes available through outside tour groups such as the “Small-Group Champagne Day Trip” from Fat Tire Tours.
On the tour, you will have a chance to walk through the vineyards, see where their champagne is made, and also learn how to saber a bottle of champagne. Be sure to contact Fat Tire Tours and/or Janisson Baradon ahead of time to learn about current tour options.
The Janisson Barason tasting room is located a short walk from the Epernay train station. It takes 1.5-2 hours to get to Eperney from Paris, making it the perfect day trip. While in the town of Epernay be sure to get a meal at Le Stelvio and get a dessert from Kitsch Cafè.
Victoria from Guide Your Travel
Chateau Soutard is located in Saint Emillion, a small town east of Bordeaux. The journey from Bordeaux takes around one hour by car or approximately one and a half hours by public transport. Saint Emilion is a world-famous wine region where over 1,000 winemakers are located.
Chateau Soutard is dated back to 1513 and is known for its excellent red wine. There are two farm buildings, the wine cellar and the orangery, that are open to the public. Tours are given several times a day where you can learn more about the winemaking process.
The group tour costs 15€ per person and takes around one hour with a three wine tasting included. There is also a private tour which costs 30€ per person (minimum two persons), where you will learn more about the famous Grand Clu Classe which the winery is so famous for.
After the tour, you can enjoy different wines on the terrace of Chateau Soutard overlooking the 30-hectare vineyard while the sun goes down. You can also stay overnight at the winery. One night at the historic winery starts at 200€ per night, including breakfast.
If you haven’t had enough of Saint Emillion, it is highly recommended to take the tourist train that will drive through different vineyards and bring you to some of the most significant wine sellers in the region. You will end the tour, of course, by tasting some exclusive wine.
Mark from Wyld Family Travel
Established in 1902, the Wolfberger brand, is based in the historic city of Eguisheim in the Alsace region of France. Wolfberger like many wineries in France is a co-operative where many local wineries join together to pool their grapes under one brand.
This helps smaller grape producers sell their seasonal fruit to the co-operative who intern bottles and markets the wine under the one brand. Wolfberger sources fruit from 420 growers working across 1200 hectares of vines that span over 100 kilometers in length in the beautiful Alsace region.
The Eguisheim headquarters of Wolfberger is one of the best cellar doors in the region. As you walk in, there is a small museum dedicated to the history of the brand before entering the retail area and tasting bar. You can happily try any of the wines that Wolfburger makes at the tasting bar.
Wolfberger uses 7 main grape varieties, Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Reisling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Pinot Noir, and Gewurztraminer to make their well-known wines. The company makes a large range of signature, seasonal, and grand reserve wines for tasting.
Some of the most popular varieties to try are the Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Reisling. Like all modern businesses, Wolfberger has had to adapt to the times by branching out in Liqueurs and Spirits.
Even though Eguisheim is the home of Wolfberger, you will find tasting rooms spread across the Alsace in Orschwihr, Gérardmer, Bambach La-Ville, Colmar and Strasbourg. My main Wine cave at Eguisheim is easily accessed when visiting Colmar in under 10 minutes by car.
If you’re coming from Paris a high-speed train via Strasbourg is one option while flying into Basel, Mullhouse, Freiburg airport is another.
Eloise – MyFavouriteEscapes.com
Domaine de Noiré
The Domaine de Noiré is a French winery located in Chinon, in the Loire Valley. The best way to get there is by car. It is a four-hour drive from Paris, but you can also catch a train to Tours (45 minutes away) to hire a car and plan your visit from there. Chinon is primarily famous for its red wines, usually made from Cabernet Franc and sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. White wines produced in the region are mainly composed of Chenin blanc.
The Domaine de Noiré produces organic wines from three different soil types (sandy-clay soil, gravelly soil, and limestone). It is interesting to try their wines and learn why they have different tastes according to where the vines grew on the hill. They also have a special cuvée of a white wine aged in an Italian amphora.
Walk-in visitors are offered wine tasting with stories about how the different wines were made. Those who enquired in advance can walk through the estate all the way to the beautiful fortress in Chinon for free. For 10 euros, visitors can also get a tour of the Domaine, including the wine cellar and wine tasting, of course.
Domaine de Noiré is known for its wine tourism experiences. They offer exciting tours (available in English) to learn more about the winery and the local area and gastronomy, with, for example, a horse-drawn carriage trip through the vines, a delicious meal with local products, and a wine tasting experience on the river.
Wineries in France Conclusion
There are so many wonderful wineries in France to visit that it would be impossible to list them all. These are just some of the top wineries in France to visit during your next visit.