Fun Facts about French Wine and Champagne

Did you know that France produces over 6 billion bottles of wine per year?

France may have faced competition from Australia, Italy and Spain of late, but the country’s wine-making secrets have stood the test of time to produce more award-winning wines than anywhere else in the world.

Fun facts about French wine and Champagne include:

  • French wines are not known for their excessive or overpowering flavours or aromas which make them perfect for pairing with food
  • On average, French people consume 60 litres of wine per person, which is more than any other country in the world 60% of French wine sold is red, rose accounts for 25% and white wines surprisingly just 15%
  • The first Champagne was produced by a Benedictine Monk going by the name of Dom Perignon in the 17th Century
  • One third of all French wines produced are being exported around the world, which is worth over 10 billion euros per year
  • The demand for high quality French wine is increasing in many countries, especially in Australia and Asian countries
  • French chemist Angelo Mariani started marketing a wine called Vin Tonique Mariani, a mixture of red Bordeaux wine and coca leaves. The ethanol in the wine extracted the cocaine from the leaves which was said to provide health and vitality (I bet it did). This later inspired American John Pemberton’s coca wine drink recipe in 1885 and the rest, as they say, is history
  • Forced to change his recipe to remove the alcohol due to prohibition, Pemberton created a non-alcoholic version of French Wine Coca, which eventually became known as Coca-Cola. It’s good to know that French wine and the most popular soft drink in the world have the same ‘gene pool’
  • After France was invaded and occupied by the Germans during the Second World War, the French wine regions were plundered by the invaders. Determined not to let the Germans destroy their wines, the French producers hid the roots of vines by preserving the most precious bottles of wines in secret cellars. Another reason why the French art of wine-making gives such a sense of pride to the people of the region
  • To the gall of the French, they didn’t actually invent wine. It was born in Mesopotamia, spread to ancient Egypt and bought to Gaul by the Greeks. The origins of French wine-making date back to the 6th century BC when southern France was settled in by Greek colonists. Wine-making was refined by the Romans and truly became an art in Marseille, then Massaslia city

Wine and Champagne tours in France

If you are planning a trip to France’s wine or Champagne regions, why not book a tour before you arrive and visit some of the world’s most prestigious wine houses, including Moet Chandon, Taittinger, Bordeaux or Burgundy. Choose from a wide range of tours from 1-10 days and make the most of the scenic towns and villages that are synonymous with the wine-making regions in France.