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France

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When one thinks of France, wine is always one of the foremost symbols of the country. It has been producing quality wine for centuries and is the birthplace of the appellation system. Food and wine is a great part of the French culture.

Names such as Burgundy, Claret and Champagne are all synonymous with France and have given rise to many other wine producing nations to try to copy the style of these wines but seldom with the same panache as the French.

But France's vineyards are a patchwork of different soils, exposures and climates that all give rise to the suitability of different grape varieties and wine-making techniques, thus the wines are diverse in character and style. For instance in Burgundy, the soil structure changes in a small way every 10 meters and in a large way every 100 meteres so despite wines originating from the same village, no two are alike. Thus the expression "don't buy the appellation, buy the grower" was born.

France remains one of the world's largest producers of wine and now the European wine lake has departed, the quality level is in general, excellent. No matter what your palate demands, you'll be sure to find something to please it in France.

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