Since the Ancient Greeks first set up shop in Marseille the French have been getting excited about wine. The benchmark setting wine industry we know today has its origins in the spread of Christianity – in vineyards attached to large monastic estates. Even at this early stage the key concept of ‘terroir’, the idea that the character of a wine is shaped by where it is grown, was taking shape.
Later other nations began clamouring to keep their cellars stocked with good French claret. As a result regions with navigable rivers (especially Bordeaux) and easy access to external markets, began to become the biggest players.
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