Crémant Wine Regions Across France | Fine French Fizz

Harry Lambourne
19th April 2024

Ever wondered what is Crémant and where are the Crémant wine regions? We’re here to help. Crémant is a sparkling wine made across France, (and beyond), and it follows the same production methods of Champagne.

Over this article, we will give you a brief introduction to this wonderful sparkling wine, before taking you through some of the key Crémant wine regions which produce excellent examples.

Crémant is a truly exceptional and part of the fun is exploring the differences between the Crémant wine regions. This is where it truly separates itself from Champagne. So, let’s learn more about the Crémant wine regions.

What IS Crémant?

We’ve mentioned that Crémant is produced via the same method as Champagne. This process is known as the ‘Traditional Method’. You’ll also see this used for the Catalonian Cava.

In the ‘Traditional Method’, a still dry base wine is added to a bottle before it has finished fermenting and the bottle is then sealed. Then, a process known as Secondary Fermentation occurs. This creates the effervescence in sparkling wine as the CO2 which occurs as a result of the fermentation is trapped in the bottle.

Once fermentation has completed, a sediment of dead yeast cells known as lees will have collected at the bottom. These lees cells break down and impart a delicious biscuity taste and aroma, while also adding body and texture to the wine.

Lees Gathering in the Traditional Method
Lees Gathering in the Traditional Method

Then, these lees cells are ejected in a process known as disgorgement. Finally, the wine is topped up with another wine and some sugar. This is called the ‘dosage’ and determines the final level of sweetness. You’ll also often find Crémant aged in oak, but it is often for considerably less time than Champagne.

In terms of the final product, you can expect a number of similar flavours. Both wines are fresh and acidic, but with notable body. They allow fruit flavours to shine while also having subtle notes of toast, brioche and other unique aromas.

You’ll also find the same grape varieties used across France. Champagne can be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The former two frequently crop up in numerous Crémant wine regions.

Now, that you have the background to what Crémant is and how it compares, (and differs), to Champagne – let’s take a look at the key Crémant wine regions.

Crémant Wine Regions – Alsace

Hunawihr - Alsace | Crémant Wine Regions
Hunawihr in Alsace – one of many Crémant D’Alsace producing regions

Alsace is a picture book region, where small quaint and brightly coloured villages permeate the rolling hills and all set in the backdrop of the Vosges Mountains. The region has a more Germanic feel than much of France. This is because it changed hands between France and Germany four times over a seventy-five year period.

In terms of still wine production, Alsace doesn’t garner as much acclaim as regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy – yet it excels at sparking wine production and is one of our favourite Crémant wine regions. The cooler climate and opportunity for planting vines at some altitude helps to preserve acidity and provide crisp and refreshing sparkling wine.

From our list of Crémant wine regions, Alsace is one of the more unique in terms of the grapes which you can expect to find within a bottle of the good stuff. Crémant d’Alsace accounts for around 20% of the wine production in the Alsace region and can be made up of a number of different grape varieties. Common examples include Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Crémant Wine Regions – The Loire Valley

Similarly to Alsace, the Loire Valley might not be the first wine region which comes to find when we think of French wine. Yet, it absolutely excels at the production of sparkling wine, (both in Crémant de Loire and other regional specialities). So, we will take a look at this region next on our list of Crémant wine regions.

Loire Valley - Garden of France
The Loire Valley – The Garden of France

The Loire Valley is often affectionately referred to as the ‘Garden of France’. This is because of the vast number of vineyards, cherry orchards, forests and farmland which sprawl across the region and line the banks of the languorously, lolling Loire Valley.

The Loire Valley is split into three broad sub-regions. The Western Loire, the Central Loire and the Eastern Loire. It is within the Central, (or Middle), Loire that you have a considerable amount of sparkling wine production. This is the beating heart of one of the key Crémant wine regions.

It is another moderate climate and is even referred to some as the ‘Angevin Mildness‘. Once more this has the effect of preserving acidity in the grapes variety, rather than leading to overly-ripe expressions of the grape varieties.

Once more, regional grape varieties mix expertly with the classic Champagne grapes, namely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Expect to also find Loire specialities such as Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Grolleau.

It is also well worth checking out sparkling ‘Saumur‘ wines. This is another example of excellent sparkling wines from the Loire Valley, but they are treated as a separate animal to Crémant de Loire.

Crémant Wine Regions – Bordeaux

Now, we move to one of the world’s most famous wine regions. However, sparkling wine is not what Bordeaux is known for. Instead, it is heady red wine blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, smokey-oaky white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and of course, the Noble Rot affected Sauternes.

Bordeaux River in Autumn Evening
Bordeaux River in Autumn Evening

Yet, this still deserves attention as one of our Crémant wine regions. Crémant de Bordeaux has some excellent examples and in fact it is the only wines in Bordeaux which can be made as sparkling wines.

The climate is warmer than the Loire and Alsace wine regions, but it is still moderate and is subject to cooling influences from the Atlantic ocean. As I’m sure you can guess this once agains helps to lock in acidity.

Again, we can see a pattern emerging whereby the regional grape varieties are utilised in each of these Crémant wine regions. This is the same in Bordeaux. You will frequently find Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Semillon grapes in a bottle of Crémant de Bordeaux.

Crémant Wine Regions – Burgundy

Next on our list of top Crémant wine regions is Burgundy. Once more we have a stellar wine region who has a reputation that is hard to match when it comes to their still wines. Yet, once more we have a wine region which has the propensity for producing some top class sparkling wines! Still Burgundy wines can be £100s to £1000s, but Crémant de Bourgogne is often far more affordable.

Abbey of Cluny - Burgundy Wine Region
Abbey of Cluny – A Key Part of the History of the Burgundy Wine Region

Though, for those who know a bit about Burgundy, it should come as no surprise that this region has the ability to make some world-class sparkling wine via the ‘Traditional Method’. Much of Burgundy is a relatively cool climate, particular in the northern portion around the region of Chablis. This is crucial for producing those exquisite wines with biting acidity for which Chablis is well known. This is also key for sparkling wine.

Beyond this, the grapes varieties of Burgundy are also strikingly similar to those of Champagne. Crémant de Bourgogne is primarily made up of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while Gamay and Aligoté are more minor blending partners. The latter two regularly crop up in Burgundy’s neighbour to the south – Beaujolais.

This is one of the Crémant wine regions where the Crémant isn’t composed of a wealth of unique grape varieties. Some will argue that it is therefore the style of Crémant which most closely emulates Champagne. Rich, complex and utterly delicious. It also frequently is aged in oak for a considerable amount of time, (once more like Champagne).

Crémant Wine Regions – Limoux

Next up on our list of Crémant wine regions is Limoux. This is likely one of the lesser known examples, as Limoux is in fact a relatively small appellation within the sprawling area that is the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region.

Languedoc-Roussillon Wine Region
Languedoc-Roussillon Wine Region

The Languedoc-Roussillon is an absolutely mammoth wine-region. It is also a region with less strict rules and regulations than many of the smaller French wine regions. This means that winemakers aren’t as constrained. They can create new and exciting wines which defy convention. While the Limoux region certainly has stipulations as to what can and can’t call itself Crémant de Limoux, the Languedoc is a place where experimentation is valued.

Limoux sits in the Pyrenean foothills in the eastern portion of the Languedoc. These mountains help to provide a cooling influence and also lock in freshness and acidity. I’m sure you’ll have worked out by now that this goes hand in hand with world-class sparkling wine.

In terms of the grape varieties, you can find Mauzac which is a regional speciality. Yet, greater emphasis is placed on Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.

Crémant Wine Regions – Luxembourg

Now, the last stop on our list of Crémant wine regions. This is a particularly unique entry, as it isn’t in France. Crémant de Luxembourg wines come from the Moselle region of Luxembourg. The population of Luxembourg is tiny, with the whole country having a population of slightly less than Newcastle or Nottingham. So, you can appreciate that production of these wines are small. Yet, they deserve a mention as they’re something of which you may not be aware.

Interestingly, sparkling wine production originally began in Luxembourg in 1885. The Champagne Mercier house produced wine their to save on taxes on exporting their wines to Germany. Yet, today Crémant de Luxembourg is a fantastic drink in its own right.

The Luxembourg district of Moselle is home to fantastic wines. It sits near the French region of Alsace and the German region of Mosel. They both take their name from the Mosel river, hence the similar names.

The landscape benefits from altitude from the rolling Vosges Mountains while ample sunshine and reflection of that light from the river help to ensure that grapes reach their full potential.

The grape varieties are similar to the Alsace wine region. So, in a bottle of Crémant de Luxembourg, you can expect to find the following: Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Riesling and Sylvaner. If you’re a fan of Alsatian and Germanic wines, then it is certainly worth looking into the sparkling wines of Luxembourg. Crémant doesn’t have to confine you to the wine regions of France!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of some of the most famous, and most unique, Crémant wine regions. Crémant is truly an exceptional style of wine and we really couldn’t recommend it enough.

Champagne is delicious, but it often comes with a price-tag that can be hard to justify if you’re trying to tighten the purse-strings. If you want a taste of luxury, that isn’t going to break the bank than Crémant is absolutely the way to go.

Crémant is complex, delicious and a truly decadent tipple. We strongly recommend you check out any, (or all), of these Crémant wine regions and pick yourself up a bottle of something fantastic!

If you want to treat yourself, or someone else in your life, don’t forget to check out our Monthly Wine Subscription and Gift Wine Subscription products. Each month you’ll receive hand-picked wines from small, independent family winemakers who focus on organicbiodynamic and sustainable viticulture. Learn more here:

If you’d simply just like to learn more about wine from the comfort of your own home, be sure to check out our online blog and sign up to our mailing list. We’re always looking to teach people about different regions, grape varieties and producers. Beyond that, you can expect to find a whole host of playlists, cocktail cards and recipe cards packed full of wine pairing ideas. There might even be some special offers along the way so make sure that you don’t miss out!

Sign Up To Our Mailing List

Never miss out on great content or special offers again!

Join our mailing list to get exclusive access to our weekly wine offers

20 mixed cases of wine a week on sale at cellar door prices