The wine regions of France
In the Middle Ages it was the churches and monasteries that promoted viticulture in France. The monks were well versed, and they contributed a great deal to French wine culture as we know it today. They refined cultivation methods and production techniques in all the classic wine regions of France. The wine trade also experienced an enormous boom in the Middle Ages, not least because of the English trading settlements in Bordeaux.The trade in French wines was already very advanced in the 17th and 18th centuries. The development of the wine regions of France with access to the open sea (Loire, Bordeaux) was particularly vigorous because waterborne transport was faster and more convenient.During the French Revolution most church vineyards were nationalized, and later distributed to free peasants. Viticulture suffered a severe setback in the first half of the 18th century: phylloxera devastated almost all vineyards, which subsequently had to be laboriously replanted. Most of the wines produced after that were fairly basic.Even back then, the French knew that soil conditions, climate and grape variety affected the quality of the wine. This interaction resulted in a unique characteristic that gave rise to the term "terroir". After the Second World War the French wine industry posted improved quality and economic growth, both of which continue to this day.