South of France

Definition - What does South of France mean?

The area of Southern France, commonly known as The South of France is one of the largest and oldest wine-producing regions. This region is situated south of the midline, directly north of the Mediterranean Sea and east of the French Alps. Southern France is a prominent wine-making region due to temperate climates during the winter and summer, a high number of sunny days and cooling coastal winds from the Atlantic and Mediterranean influencing vineyard growth. These conditions provide a great environment for the many different red, white and rose wines grown and produced there such as Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Grenache.

WineFrog explains South of France

There are many key wine producing sub regions within Southern France, the Rhone Valley, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, Southwest (Bergerac and Armagnac) and Bordeaux. The Rhone Valley follows the Rhone River north to south covering about 150 miles of land ending near the Mediterranean coast, and it produces Syrah, Voignier, Marsanne and Roussanne in the north with Grenache and Mourvedre in the South. Both southern and northern regions denote a Cotes du Rhone classification. The Provence region is located in the southeast corner of France and is responsible for producing original varieties like Carignan, Barbaroux, and Calitor. However, more commercially grown varieties like Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon have been added to the region in recent years.

Languedoc-Roussillon is responsible for about a quarter of all wine-producing vines in France providing a great diversity of wine varieties such as sparkling Blanquette de Limoux, red wines of Banvuls and the rosés of the Cotes du Roussillon.

The Southwest region, or “Sud Ouest” in French, runs from the town of Toulouse westward to the Atlantic Ocean. This region has a wide range of vineyards producing dry white wines, rosés, sparkling wines and aperitif/dessert wines. Bordeaux is one of largest wine making regions in the world and is associated with expensive, long cellared wines as well as young wines paired well with food. The left bank of Bordeaux produces mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, and the right bank produces Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

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