France: Winemaking

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Winemaking in many wine regions, tradition has long been as important as science in determining winemaking techniques, although France’s winemakers can and do draw on many centres of oenological academe for instruction and research (see academe for a list of those described in further detail in this book).

Techniques vary enormously in France’s hundreds of thousands of caves but in general, and in sharp contrast to the New World, protective juice handling and an obsession with winery hygiene are relatively rare. Mastery of malolactic conversion and oak ageing, on the other hand, have long been taken for granted.