If I was walking down the French aisle with you at your local wine shop, these are the winemakers I'd point out. Consistently excellent, terroir-centric, and worth the money.
This list is extensive, but not yet exhaustive. French wine is vast, and volatile. A promising producer can quickly fall off form due to a challenging vintage, or worse, issues with avoidable flaws (the "low intervention" mantra of natural wine can come at a cost sometimes). In the regions not yet represented — like Provence, Savoie and the Southwest — we have not yet found what we are looking for: consistency, subtlety and complexity, relative affordability and (more often than not) availability. Oh, we've found great wines and great wineries in these places, they just haven't had the breadth of distribution in the U.S. to include on this list. At least not yet.
Have thoughts or feedback on this list? A great producer we need to know about? Share them on Instagram and tag us @openingabottle or email our Editor-in-Chief directly. This list is a moving target and we're always looking to make it more and more useful.