According to several sources on line, the rule is to NOT use the article with feminine country names when referring to the country as a specific place of origin (le fromage de France), or similar, but that the article IS used when referring to a feminine gender country as a political or economic entity, or in an abstract/general sense (la géographie de la France).
This is not specific to France, but applies to all feminine gender countries.
One link below which gives a number of examples of the rule in action :
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard