A Guide to the Top Wine Regions in Northern France

You don’t need to be an expert on wine to know that France produces some of the best wines in the world, nor do you have to be an expert to enjoy it.

If you’re exploring France with your caravan or motorhome you literally have free reign of one of the most enticing countries in Europe. Just remember all the legalities when taking your motorhome or caravan abroad and make sure you check online for caravan and motorhome insurance – after all, you need to make sure you’re covered.

Once that’s all in order, you can start to plan your trip. Here we’ve got three of the top wine regions in the north of the country, just to get you started.

Wine Regions in Northern France: Champagne

Perhaps the most famous of them all, we all know the sparkling wine from this French appellation. The method for making Champagne was invented in this area in north-eastern France near the city of Reims, about 100 miles from Paris.

Due to the northern location of the region and the limited sunshine it’s actually a difficult area for grapes to fully ripen, meaning most of the wines coming from this region tend to be whites (with the most prominent being chardonnay) and of course sparkling. This is due to the acidic grape varieties doing better in the climate. However, the cooler climate is also ideal for the growing of Pinot Noir, which makes the best reds from this region.

Wine Regions in Northern France: Loire

This area southwest of Paris is France’s third largest wine producing region and is known for its lighter reds and sparkling wines. In fact the Loire Valley is the second largest region for sparkling wine in France after Champagne. Also produced in this north-western region of France are light whites, roses and sweet wines perfect for dessert or an aperitif.

Wine Regions in Northern France: Alsace

The north-eastern region of Alsace is known mostly for its dry whites and sparkling wines. This is due to the cooler, damper climate compared to the hotter and more sun-soaked southern regions of France. The Alsace region has quite a colourful history which is mirrored in the wines produced there. Over the past few centuries, the region has changed hands between France and Germany several times ensuring it has very close ties with Germany and German culture. As a consequence of this, Alsace produces some of the best Rieslings and aromatic Gewürztraminer wines and is the only region in France to produce mostly varietal wines made from similar grapes as those used in German wines.

As you’d expect from France, it isn’t only German influenced wines which are produced in Alsace, as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and sparkling wines are also favourites from the region.

Photo Credit: Patrick Goossens