Undiscovered French wines – a guide
Haut-Poitou wine…Charente wine…Vendée wine…wine from the Landes? Where? It’s true that none of these are household names when it comes to French wine. But that is what is so fascinating about France’s wine…there are so many different areas waiting to be disocvered. That is what this guide to undiscovered French wines hopes to show; that off the beaten track, away from the great names from Bordeaux, the Loire or Burgundy there are some wonderful wines to be tasted. And often available at prices that are a fraction of those vinatges from the big name regions.
The key to these undiscovered wines along France’s Atlantic coast is geography and climate. For example, consider the area that sits between the famous Loire Valley and Bordeaux wine-making areas. Here you’ll find the wines of the Haut-Poitou and of the Charente and Charente-Maritime. These wines may not have the reputation of their illustrious neighbours. Yet the climate, topography and soil is not that different. In other words the Haut-Poitou – an area just north of Poitiers – and the two Charentes – between La Rochelle and Angouleme – have all the vital ingredients to make great wine; the right land and weather and some dedicated and very talented winemakers.
The same could be said of the Vendée, an area right next to some of the great wine-producing areas of the Loire. Or the sandy Landes department, just south of the Bordeaux wine region, or the Basque region of south-west France. Yet, here again, few people know about their wines. This, then is the mission of this site – to let people know that these areas produce red, white, rosé and sparkling wines that can genuinely compete with the best. Don’t take our word for it – just look at all the awards they win! We hope this site will get you out exploring, tasting and buying the best of France’s top undiscovered wine areas.
The main reason why the quality of wine along France's Atlantic coast has improved so dramatically in recent decades is the passion of its many wine growers. Here one wine producer talks about his near-obsession to produce the perfect wine, and describes how he learnt his trade not in France but Australia.
The Charente-Maritime and Charente form arguably the least prestigious of the wine regions aong France's Atlantic coast. But no one should think that their products lack the quality of other local vintages. Indeed, some good judges consider that these two departments produce some of the region's very best wines...