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France is a relatively young wine-growing country compared to Greece and Italy. The first vines were brought to France in the 6th century BC by the Greeks, who founded Massalia (Latin Massillia = Marseille) in the southwest on the Mediterranean coast. At this time, the land that was only later called Gaul by the Romans was inhabited by the Celts. A lively trade developed and the Greeks covered the demand. When the Greeks migrated to the Po Valley in the 5th century, they got to know Italian wine and began to import it. The later French had been consuming wine for a long time before they began to cultivate it themselves on a large scale. The conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) led to systematic distribution. This took place in the 1st century in the Rhône valley, in the 2nd century in Burgundy and Bordeaux and in the 3rd century on the Loire. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus (232-282) lifted the ban of Emperor Domitian (51-96) and ordered the planting of vines throughout Gaul in the middle of the 3rd century.

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