France and wine pretty much go hand in hand, don’t they? One could drink a different French wine every day of the year as there are, quite simply, so many to choose from!
Here we look at 5 beautiful wine producing French towns and villages across the country, all quite superb in terms of climate, beauty and accessibility. Also, buying a property in a wine producing area is likely to be an excellent investment.
Pouilly sur Loire
Pouilly sur Loire is a beautiful small village in the Loire valley, most famous for its Chasselas and Pouilly Fume grapes. The wine is light, fresh and aromatic. Although the village is small, it attracts many tourists in the summer months from the Paris region, which is a relatively easy drive away. Most of the vineyards lie on the right bank of the river and the village itself is very pretty.
Property prices are reasonable here: you can buy a 2 bedroom house with garden for around €150,000 and one with a gite or outbuilding for around €250,000, making it an ideal investment purchase.
Buying a property in a wine producing area is likely to be an excellent investment.
Saint Emilion in the Bordeaux area is one of the best known wine producing towns in France. With its close neighbour, Libourne, it has a fantastic ambience with plenty of restaurants, individual shops and historical monuments to browse through. The village is home to some wonderful ancient half timbered buildings, cobbled streets and some great restaurants. Known for producing some wonderfully robust red wines, this is a lovely area, consistently popular with the French and other Europeans.
There is a variety of property in and around Saint Emilion, from traditional stone houses to farmhouses, and some modern villas too. You will need a slightly higher budget here of at least €250,000 for a small house with a garden. The nearest airport is Bordeaux, with regular flights to and from the UK.
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Many wine connoisseurs consider the Burgundy wines to be the best in France. One of the most famous white wines in the world comes from this lovely town in the north of Burgundy, a prosperous area rich in ancient chateaux and monuments, as well as wine! The monks from the Abbey of Pontigny close by were the first to plant Chardonnay grapes here, which have flourished for centuries due to the perfect soil and micro-climate.
Chablis is in the Yonne department and prides itself on producing many “grand crus” wines. The classic crisp and dry white Chablis wine is the perfect drink for a hot summer’s day. The village itself is well worth a visit with its super street market, individual boutiques and fine restaurants.
The best way to visit Chablis is by car, taking a leisurely route down from Paris. Paris Orly is the nearest airport some 4 hours away.
Properties are hard to come by in the village itself, but there are plenty of lovely ancient stone houses in surrounding villages and in the countryside. For around €200,000 you can find yourself a renovated 2-3 bedroom house with garden.
Many wine connoisseurs consider the Burgundy wines to be the best in France.
Located just 20 minutes from the Mediterranean sea, this lovely market town produces some lesser known but delicious wines. In the heart of Occitanie (which used to be the Languedoc Roussillon until the merge with the Midi-Pyrenees to make the new area of Occitanie), the wines produced here rival those of the Bordeaux region.
The vineyards are spread out on the hillsides outside the town. Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine each year, this is fast becoming an area to rival its ritzier neighbour, Provence, with its very similar geography and climate but far cheaper property prices.
You can find a wide variety of property types here ranging from large maisons de maitres to modern villas. Being fairly close to the coast, prices are higher than many other areas. But, you can still pick up a decent 2-3 bedroom house with garden for around €200,000 and there is plenty of scope for holiday rentals here.
The nearest airports are Perpignan and Montpellier with regular flights to and from the UK.
A lesser known little town, Marseillan is in fact a beautiful working fishing port, totally unspoilt and situated in the Herault department of Occitanie. Stroll up and down the little estuary where you will find some lovely restaurants and small boutiques selling local wares, as well as a sandy beach a little further over from the village.
The village is surrounded by vines and the weekly market offers an array of fresh fish, olives, fruits and herbs. This is the “real” south of France with some delicious local wines, as well as the famous Noilly Prat vermouth winery, which produces both wines and various types of vermouth aged in oak barrels.
Marseillan has developed over the last few years to become a favourite with French holiday makers. Property wise, there are some lovely new apartment complexes in the village and just outside, with prices from around €200,000. It is highly recommended both for a holiday or to buy property with good rental returns. The nearest airports are Perpignan and Montpellier.
For a smooth move to France, you need to make sure that your budget is protected to reduce risk from exchange rate flux. Find out how in our partner Smart Currency Exchange’s guide, The Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.
Why buy property in a wine town or village?
Buying property in any wine growing area in France is always going to be a good investment. It is also possible to buy a property with an existing vineyard. In the Bordeaux area, for example, there are plenty of properties with hobby vineyards, i.e under 10 hectares, which owners either sell locally or simply use for themselves! Learning about the wine making process is truly fascinating and should you choose to buy a property with a vineyard, the local mairie is very likely to help you with the learning process.
The French are justifiably proud of their wines, despite increased competition from many other countries around the world. If in doubt, why not take a driving trip through France and explore some of the lesser known wine producers? These are often just as good, if not better than the larger wine producers. Let us know how we can help you plan to find your own property in a wine growing area. The choice is huge!