I found this comprehensive list of Wine Spectator wine maps that represent my Vino con Vista travels through France including: Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc, Loire Valley, Provence and the Rhône Valley.
Here are some interactive Wine Spectator Maps for your review:
Alsace A detailed look at the appellation’s top crus, broken out by town and the corresponding vineyard. Alsace is located on the border of Germany and France. Today if you visit Alsace, you can see how the interventions of two mega empires affected the area through its architecture and the presence of both French and German languages. Along with Austria and Germany, it produces some of the most noted dry Rieslings in the world as well as highly aromatic Gewürztraminer wines. Wines are produced under three different AOCs: Alsace AOC for white, rosé and red wines, Alsace Grand Cru AOC for white wines from certain classified vineyards and Crémant d’Alsace AOC for sparkling wines.
Bordeaux A detailed look at the region’s key districts, including the Médoc and its appellations, Pessac-Léognan, the Right Bank areas of Pomerol and St.-Emilion, and the sweet wine areas of Sauternes and Barsac
The Bordeaux region is naturally divided by the Gironde Estuary into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The Left Bank area includes the Médoc and Graves. The Right Bank area includes the Libournais, Bourg and Blaye. The main culprit for Bordeaux vintage variation is the weather. This is a region that is heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the two rivers that cross it. The good news is that this maritime climate protects the vines from winter freeze and spring frost.
“The Médoc is divided into Haut-Médoc (the upstream or southern portion) and Bas-Médoc (the downstream or northern portion, often referred to simply as “Médoc”).”
There are various sub-regions within the Haut-Médoc, including St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St.-Julien and Margaux. Graves includes the sub-regions of Pessac-Léognan and Sauternes. Sauternes includes the sub-region of Barsac.
The Libournais includes the sub-regions of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. There is an additional wine region of Entre-Deux-Mers, so called because it lies between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, which combine to form the Gironde.
All of these regions (except the Libournais) have their own appellation. They are “governed by Appellation d’origine contrôlée laws which dictate the permissible grape varieties, alcohol level, methods of pruning and picking, density of planting and appropriate yields as well as various winemaking techniques.”
Bordeaux wine labels will usually include the region on the front of the label.
‘mis en bouteille au château’ or ‘mis en bouteille à la propriété’ (bottled at the property of the producer)
A general rule of thumb is that the Left Bank is predominately Cabernet Sauvignon based with the Right Bank being more Merlot based. The Graves area produces both red wine and white wine from the Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle grapes.
Champagne The heart of Champagne, including the districts of Côte des Blanc, Montagne de Reimans and Vallée de la Marne, plus key grand cru villages
Southern France An overview of the appellations in the Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and southern Rhône regions
Provence is a large wine-producing area, best-known for its rosé wines, the most famous of which are Côtes de Provence and Côteaux d’Aix. The most famous of the area’s white wines is Bandol, celebrated since the middle ages. The Provence region also includes the southern end of the Côtes du Rhone AOP area.
South West France Wine
There are plenty of UNESCO World Heritage sites to explore in the Southwest region of France as you Tour and Taste your way through the lush, hilly vineyards. Southwest France borders the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and Spain and the Pyrenees Mountains on the south. Viticulture was established here before Bordeaux was planted.
Here they are:
Episcopal City of Albi/UNESCO
Canal du Midi/UNESCO
The region is home to a string of more than two dozen wine-making appellations including Fronton, the home of the red grape Négrette, a native variety not grown anywhere else in the world and Jurançon, a celebrated sweet wine made from Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng. The region is also one of the most important brandy producer in France and one of the finest brandy in the world: Armagnac.
Here’s a map of the scenic wine regions in Southwest France:
The Southwest is also the home of such famous literary characters as “The Three Muskateers” and “Cyrano de Bergerac.
Lourdes, is a pilgrimage town, Hautes-Pyrénées département, Occitanie région, southwestern France, southwest of Toulouse. Situated at the foot of the Pyrenees and now on both banks of a torrent, the Gave de Pau, the town and its fortress formed a strategic stronghold in medieval times. I never miss an opportunity to visit a Pilgrimage Area or Church in Europe.
You may want to visit the Sanctuary and Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and bring home some holy water and rosaries for your friends; especially if they have seen “The Song of Bernadette Movie” with Jennifer Jones; one of my childhood favorites. This drama focuses on Bernadette Soubirous (Jennifer Jones), a young French woman who experiences vivid visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. The first sanctuary to be built was the Crypt, which is below the Basilica of the Immaculate conception. Construction started in September 13,1863 and was consecrated in May 1866, by the Bishop of Tarbes.
Thanks Wine Spectator–we love wine regions and UNESCO World Heritage Sites at www.vino-con-vista.com