The South West (or 'Sud-Ouest') is a relatively large territorial zone of France, incorporating the administrative regions of Aquitaine, Limousin and Midi-Pyrenees. In terms of the French wine map, however, the Sud-Ouest region is a little less clear-cut, as it excludes Bordeaux – a wine region so prolific that it is effectively a zone in its own right.
France – the home of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne – is arguably the world's most important wine-producing country. For centuries, it has produced wine in greater quantity – and of reportedly greater quality – than any other nation. Wine is ingrained in French culture at almost every level of society; it is the drink of both the elite and the common people, and a key symbol in Roman Catholicism, France's majority religion.