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Sampling The Wines Of France; A Hire Car And The Open Road

Feb 4, 2008
Touring the wine making regions of France in a hire car is the perfect way sample all this unique country has to offer. The wines of France are generally regarded as the best in the world and with a long heritage; some say the sixth century BC. This ensures that they have had plenty of practice with wine making methods. Car hire services will allow you to tour vineyards and the quaint villages of France, sampling, reds, whites and some marvellous cuisine.

The only choice is which part of France to tour, it al depends upon what wines suit your pallet. The various regions all have distinct wines that are as much part of the local identity as the language and accent. A hire car allows tourists to travel at their own pace and achieve true relaxation. The benefit of being able to stop en route and enjoy a lunch in a French cafe cannot be underestimated. Just try not to indulge too much in the local grape variety before jumping in your hire car for the next stage of your journey.

Beaujolais is one of the classic wine producing regions and makes an awesome road trip holiday in a hire car. Laying near the Rhone Alps the varieties of wine are essentially easy drinking reds that have a fruity character. Not intended for long storage they make ideal bistro wines and as a result, good quality wines can be purchased for relatively low expense.

A short drive in your hire car will take you into the Rhone Valley, here both whites and reds can be found due to the startling climate changes from north to south. The Syrah grape is common in the north and is used to create some fine examples of Shiraz type wines. Predominantly reds, the wines of the northern region are renowned for their olive and bacon aromas whilst being bolder than the Beaujolais' reds.

Southern Rhone is a scenic drive which is perfect for those using car hire services. Following the river down country, southern Rhone has a distinctly Mediterranean climate; much warmer than its northerly counterpart. The most famous wine of the region is Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which combines thirteen different grapes in a sumptuous blend. Whites and fortified wines can also be found in the region and suit the climate slightly more than the reds.

Bordeaux is one of the largest wine growing regions in the world and is a joy to tour in a hire car. It is naturally suited to grow fine grapes with limestone soils, many rivers and a maritime climate that make ideal growing conditions.

France is full of growing regions but Bordeaux has some of the widest variety of grapes in the country. Along with the Red Bordeaux grape (commonly known as claret in England), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes are common. Whites from this region of France tend to be made from the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

In the north of France, a fairly lengthy but enjoyable drive in a hire car from the southern regions is where the Champagne area is situated. Lying so far north it is one of the most northerly wine growing regions which results in grapes not fully ripening and subsequently having a high level of acidity.

This is perfect for sparkling wines and hence, these are what the region is most famous for. The champagne houses have been in existence for centuries with Ruinart being founded in 1729 and Moet et Chandon being founded in 1743, with such heritage it is little wonder that the sparkling wines of the region are seen as the best in the world.

A tour of the wine growing regions of France by hire car makes an ideal trip for those who like to sample the finer things in life. The gorgeous reds of the south are every wine fans dream while the champagne houses offer elegance and fine sparkling wines. For the connoisseur or those who simply like a tipple this is a brilliant road trip to undertake.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty loves French wines and whenever touring vineyards uses Budget for all his car hire France requirements. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk/car-hire/car-hire-france.htm
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