There is no doubt that the French wine industry is one of the largest wine industries in the world, equaling Italy and Spain. The French wine industry is leading, along with Italy in terms of maximum quantity of wine produced, producing 23.1% of the total wine in the world. Many of the French wines rank among the best wines in the world, due to their quality attributes. Within France, Bordeaux can be regarded as the most important region of wine production and contributes massively to the French wine industry. In fact, Bordeaux wines are famous all over the world for their quality. Other regions such as Burgundy and Champagne often undergo scarcity effects due to limited vineyard area and as a result, these wines end up costing higher than the wines from other regions.
The quality of the wine produced by the French wine industry is regulated by the AOC. This has proved to be a strong constraint in the global wine market as competition is quite stiff and it has lately been perceived that the French wine industry is losing some of its competitiveness and subsequently its business, due to the strict regulations.
Keeping pace with the increasing competition, there has been a change in the quality patterns of wine production in France. Earlier, the French wine used to be classified into two categories. The first category is the complex and traditional AOC first class wines and the second category is of the ordinary table wine. The ordinary table wine is considered to be of little importance to both the domestic French wine market as well as the international wine market. In addition to these two categories, due to the rising demands of the international wine market, a new category of medium quality wines has emerged of late. This comprises of the country wines or the vins de pays and the grape variety denominated wines or the vins de cépage.