France, with its Latin heritage, is strongly marked by the culture and love of wine.
As the second largest wine producer in the world behind Italy, France, more than any other country, has the reputation of being the « land of wine ».
A few figures to support this claim :
– In 2020, France was the most represented nation in the world’s top 50 vineyards, with 9 vineyards listed
– There are no less than 76,000 vineyards producing 42.1 hectolitres/year (i.e. nearly 17% of world production)
– France has nearly 400 AOCs (Burgundy 97, Loire 63, Bordeaux 54…) which represent about 3000 wines
– The French consume about 58 bottles per person per year
Beyond the simple enumeration of figures, here is some historical, unusual and funny information to perfect your/our wine culture.
Did you know that :
– The oldest wine in the world is 550 years old!
The cellar of the Hospices de Strasbourg houses a nectar dating from 1472 that has only been drunk 3 times.
An “oenological miracle” that was put into a new barrel in January 2015, the last one dating from 1718!
– Alsatian wine glasses, with their long green stems, were put in place by winegrowers during difficult productions. The colour of the stem, which is reflected in the wine, was used to deceive the eye about the colour of the robe.
– With a surface area of 4 hectares, the smallest appellation in France is Château Grillet. It produces barely 85 hectolitres/years…the price being inversely proportional to the quantity.
– In contrast, the Languedoc Roussillon area is the largest in France with 260,000 hectares.
– Some grape varieties that existed before Phylloxera but which were replaced by others, more in line with the criteria of productivity, are being revived
Persan, Mollard, Espanenc, Ribeyrenc, Oeillade, Terret, César or Pinot Beurot have been found and replanted bypassionate winegrowers.
Today, they produce rare but truly different wines while helping to maintain the diversity of French grape varieties.
In the end, a sum of information which shows that beyond the economic impact,
the vine and wine are intimately linked to our history, our culture and our heritage.