Loire Valley

The largest white wine region on France

 

2nd largest sparkling wine producer in France

 

Central Loire was declared a world heritage site in 2000 due to it's beauty.

 

The region has over 300 castles flanking the Loire river.

History

 

1st AD

Romans introduced the vine to Loire. 

 

1152

 The famous marriage between Duchy of Aquitaine to the count of Anjou. 

The count of Anjou was Henry Plantagenet who later became the Duke of Normandy and then King Henry the II. Together the couples holdings include - Aquitaine (Bordeaux) Gascony, Loire 

 

Loire wines were served at the King of England's table bringing popularity to the wine.  For 100s of years the British had powerful presence in France. 

 

1429

Town of Chinon - Joan of Arc meets future King Charles VII. Charles VII wanted France to be an independent nation without the British present

 

17th Century 

Augustinian and Benedictine monks are responsible for viticulture within the region and promoting a wine culture. The Loire became a major supplier of white wine to Netherlands for the Dutch to produce "brandewijn" translates into burnt wine. The grapes used were Muscat and Folle Blanche and distilled to sell to countries throughout Northern Europe.  For 2 centuries the area was widely popular for French Brandy wine. 

 

1834 

Loire Valley was one of the most important waterways in France. Approximately 50 boats sailed to Paris a day. 

 

1789 

French Revolution Mid

 

1800s 

Rail road expansion - Southern France, Bordeaux and Bourgogne wine became available to Northern France markets. 

 

Mid 1880s 

Phylloxera arrived in Loire Valley - was one of the last wine regions to be hit with the crisis. 

 

1935 

AOC was introduced 

 

1936

Quincy was the first to receive official AOC status

 

Today 

Approximately 70 AOCs in Loire 

Location

 

The Loire river is 1015 km, it starts in Central France and flows out into the Atlantic at Nantes. 

Climate

The river helps to warm the vineyards near by.

 

The temperature near the river is on average 2 -4 degrees warmer. 

 

The 3 sub regions of Loire 

 

Lower Loire - Nantes 

Maritime Climate

 

Middle Loire - Anjou/Saumur and Touraine 

Maritime climate with Altantic influences 

 

Upper Loire - Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Menetou-Salon Continental climate 

Appellations

 

75% total of production has AOC status 

  • Dry Red and White

  • Rose 

  • Sparkling 

  • Sweet 

 

IGP - 9.5% of total production

IGP Val de Loire, one of the largest regional IGP's in France. 

 

Vins Sans IG - 15.5% of total production 

Sub Regions 

 
 

Lower Loire

Westernmost sub-region.

 

The city of Nantes is located within this sub-region.

 

Vineyards are flat and are located within 10-96km of the Atlantic Coast

 

Maritime climate. 

 

The Atlantic Ocean is influenced by the Gulf Stream and that increases the average annual temperature of the area in close proximity to the coast. 

 

2,000 sunshine hours per year, receives more sun than the 2 other regions. 

 

Winter - cold, damp, light snowfall. 

Risks - frosts and ice storms

 

Spring - cool, cloudy and damp

 

Summer - warm with plenty of sunshine

Risks - high humidity can cause rot and mildew 

 

Autumn - warm, sporadic rainstorms

 

CHAPTALISATION - adding sugar to fermenting must  This practise is allowed in the Loire. The winemakers only do so when absolutely necessary to reach minimum alcohol levels. 

 

Flat coastline area that is split by the Serve and Maine Rivers, the famous wine is Muscadet Sevre et Maine is named after the rivers.

 

Soil 

Gneiss top soil - very porous rock which allows for great drainage. Porous soils are a must within this sub region otherwise the vine would be high yielding with little extract. 

 

Sub soil - Crystalline igneous rocks (volcanic rocks)

 

White Grape Varieties

 

  • Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne)

  • Folle Blanche (Gros Plant) - only used for Gros Plant du Pays Nantais AOC

  • Pinot Gris 

 

 

Appellations

Coteaux d'Ancenis + (grape variety) AOC 

 

There are currently 4 different varieties being used,

2 will soon be banned

 

Coteaux d'Ancenis Pineau de la Loire (Chenin Blanc) - to be banned in 2016 Coteaux d'Ancenis Cabernet - to be banned in 2024

Coteaux d'Ancenis Malvoise (Pinot Gris)

Coteaux d'Ancenis Gamay 

 

 

Fiefs Vendeens AOC 

 

Red

Min 50% Gamay and Pinot Noir 

Blending partners - Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Negrette

 

White

 

Min 50% Chenin Blanc

Blending partners - Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Melon 

 

Sub regions of Fiefs Vendeens are the following villages

 

  • Brem

  • Mareuil

  • Pissotte 

  • Vix 

 

 

Gros Plant du Pays Nantais AOC 

 

Dry White Wine  100% Folle Blanche, locally known as Gros Plant.

The vines are planted on the best plots along 2 major rivers

the Sevre and Maine. 

 

Soil - sandy soil, granite and gravel. 

 

"Sur Lie" May appear on the label if the wine has undergone ageing on its dead yeast cells

 

 

Muscat AOCs

 

Largest AOC in the Lower Loire 

 

All of the AOCs produce dry white wine from Melon de Bourgogne. 

 

Muscat AOCs are easy drinking, pair perfectly with fresh seafood dishes and are inexpensive.  Most Muscat is consumed locally, the biggest market lies to the east, Paris. 

 

The wine is mostly produced by large negociants and co-operatives. 

 

Flavour profile - grapefruit and pepper 

Flavour profile for sur lie - grapefruit, pepper, nutty and round in texture. 

 

Muscat AOC is a Regional AOC and the zone of production is the entire Pays Nantais. It is not the largest in terms of volume

 

 

Muscat-Sevre et Maine AOC

 

is the largest producing AOC by volume the AOC

produces 75-80% of all the AOC Muscat bottled.

 

The AOC is named after the 2 rivers that flow through the area.

The Sevre and Maine river

 

3 sub-zone within this AOC 

 

Sur lie aging requirements are longer for the sub-regions. The wine cannot be labeled sur lie. 

 

Muscadet-Sevre et Maine Clisson 

Soil - granitic gravels and galets 

The soil imparts a dried fruit character to the wine. 

 

Muscadet-Sevre et Maine Gorges 

Soil - clay, rich in quartz along with coarsely grained volcanic rock called "gabbros"

The soil imparts minerality and smokiness 

 

Muscadet-Sevre et Maine Le Pellet

Soil - gneiss and gabbros

The soil imparts a pronounced floral element

 

 

Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire AOC 

Location - Northern Pays Nantais 

 

Muscadet-Cotes de Grandlieu AOC 

Location - Southwest of Pays Nantais 

 

Middle Loire 

Located between the cities of Angers and Tours. 

 

Anjou and Touraine are the wine producing regions surrounding the 2 cities.

 

2 grapes dominate here 

  • Chenin Blanc

  • Cabernet Franc 

 

Middle Loire producers a wide range of styles. 

 

The sub regions include

 

  • Anjou - around the city Angers

 

  • Layon - along the Layon River - producing botrytised wine

 

  • Saumur - around the city of Saumur

 

  • Touraine - around the city of Tours 

 

ClimateMaritime climate with continental influences

Slighter colder in winter and warmer in summer than it's western neighbour Pays Nantes. 

 

Best vineyards are located facing South to maximise sun exposure.

Sites facing any other aspect receive significantly less sunshine per day.

 

Soil

 

Anjou

Schist and clay marls, pockets of gravel and shale

Influence on the wine - tannic reds, heavy whites

 

Saumur 

Limestone soil, patches of sand

Influence on wine - pronounced acidity great for Cremant

Reds are planted on the patches of sand to create lower acid, fruit driven red wine why soft tannins. 

 

Touraine 

Soils here are very varied

 

Vouvray, Montlouis, Amboise Porous

limestone soil 

Influence on wine - vibrant acidity

 

Chinon and Azay-Le-Rideau 

Chalky, sandy, gravely soil. Hillsides are clay. 

White grapes are planted on chalky soil - increase acidity

Red grapes are planted on sands/gravels - heighten the fruit flavours and aromas

 

Bourgueil and St.Nicolas-de-Bourgueil 

Sandy gravel with limestone pebbles and Slopes of pure limestone. 

The sandy gravel - perfumed wines  Limestone - racy, increased acidity 

 

White grape varieties 

 

  • Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Lorie) dominates the vineyards of Middle Lorie

  • Sauvignon Blanc

  • Chardonnay

  • Arbois - used in the production of  Cheverny AOC from Touraine as well as IGP wines where is it blended with Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc 

  • Romortantin - grown exclusively in Cour-Cheverny AOC in Touraine 

 

Red grape varieties 

 

  • Cabernet Franc - dominates the vineyards of Middle Loire 

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Malbec (Cot) blending in small portions to other red and rose wine

  • Gamay - used in the production of Anjou-Gamay and Gamay de Touraine, Gamay is also a blending partners for other red, rose and sparkling wine

  • Pinot Noir - used in  Touraine AOC for sparkling wines 

  • Pinot Meunier - used in  Touraine AOC for sparkling wines 

  • Pienau d'Aunis - Native to Loire, vine has a short life span. Used in the production of rose in Cheverny blended with Gamay to add fruit. This variety is used alone to produce Coteaux du Vendomois Rose AOC 

  • Grolleau - Native grape, most common grape used in Rose production

 

 

Wine Styles 

 

Sparkling Wine - few differnt categories 

 

Petillants - transaltes into fizzy

they contain approx 1/2 the pressure as moussex or cremant

methode traditionnelle

1-2.5 atmospheres of pressue

 

Mousseux - translates into frothy or bubbly

methode traditionnelle 

less regulations than Cremant 

majoirty do NOT having aging requirements 

min of 3 atmospheres of pressure 

 

Cremant 

methode traditionnnelle 

min 12 months on less 

min 1 month in bottle before release 

 

Sweet Wines 

 

100% Chenin Blanc grapes 

grapes are given a long hang time on the vine beofre picked 

affected by Botrytis (Noble Rot ) 

Flavours - peach, quince jam, apricot

 

Appellations

Anjou and Layon 

 

Located around the town of Angers

 

Chenin Blanc - white grapes that dominates the vineyards 

 

Most vineyards are located on the left bank of the Loire river

 

50% of production is Rose - blend of Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grolleau, Pineau d'Aunis, Malbec, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

 

 

Anjou Blanc AOC 

 

White - dry or off dry

min 80% Chenin Blanc 

blending partners - Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay 

 

 

Anjou Rouge AOC

Anjou-Villages AOC

Anjou-Villages Brissac AOC 

 

 

Red wine - Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

Anjou-Gamay AOC

 

Red wine - Gamay

light easy drinking fruity wines

 

 

 

Anjou Coteaux de la Loire AOC

 

Sweet White wine

100% Chenin Blanc  

affected by Botrytis (Noble Rot)

 

 

Anjou Mousseux AOC 

 

White and Rose Sparkling wine 

Chenin Blanc dominates the blend 

Up to 60% of the follwing grpaes are allowed 

Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Grolleau and Pineau d'Aunis vinified as blanc de noir. 

Rose Sparkling - strawberry

White Sparkling - honeysuckle, peach, apricot 

 

 

 

Bonnezeaux AOC 

 

Sweet White wine 

100% Chenin Blanc 

affected by Boytris (Noble Rot)

 

 

 

Cabernet d'Anjou AOC 

 

Rose wine

made from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

off dry - sweet 

min residual sugar is 1%

 

The Follwoing AOCs are all for Sweet White wine made from the Chenin Blanc grape. The grapes have a longer hang time and have been affected by Botrytis (noble Rot)

 

Chaume AOC - Premier Cru of Coteaux du Layon

Coteaux du Layon AOC

Coteaux du Layon + Village AOC

Coteaux de L'Aubance AOC

Quarts de Chaume AOC - can label their wines Grand Cru, min R.S level is 8.5% the highest min level for any non-fortifed dessert wine in France

 

 

Roses of Anjou and Layon 

 

Rose d'Anjou AOC 

 

off-dry with a min R.S of 0.7%

Grolleau is the principal grape 

Aromas - banana, roses, red berries 

 

Rose de Loire AOC

 

Dry Rose 

Grape can come from anywhere in the Middle Loire 

 

 

Savennieres AOC 

 

White wine

100% Chenin Blanc 

Produces one of France's most age worthy whites. 

Located - Right bank of the Loire River 

Soil- Slate, schist and clay

 

Flavour profile - anise, pear, honey, haselnut, fresh straw, candied lemon. 

Rich concentration of flavours with great acidity and minerality.

 

Majority of wine is Dry however there are demi-sec, moelleux and doux styles

 

Demi-sec 0.4 - 1.2% R.S

Moelleux 1.2-4.5% R.S

Doux  min 4.5%

 

2 climats within the Savennieres AOC recieved their own independant AOC status in 2011.

 

  • La Roche aux Moines AOC - owned by 1 owner Nicola Joly, 3 Hectares in size. Single vineyard is a steep red schist slope. The vineyard is farmed bidynamically.

 

  • Coulee de Serrant AOC - steep schist slope, 7 Hectares.

 

Stricter regulations including 

  • Lower yields

  • No chaptalisation

  • Higher minmum must weight

  • Higher minium alcohol 

 

 

 

 

Saumur

 

Known for its Sparkling wines. Saumur producers the most Sparkling wines within the Loire Valley.

 

 

Mousseux AOC

 

Sparkling wines

Yields are higher than Cremant production

 

 

Cremant de Loire AOC 

 

Sparkling wines

A general term for Loire Sparkling wines is Fines Bulles - translates into fine bubbles.

 

 

Cabernet de Saumur AOC

 

Rose wine

lighter and dryier in style than Caberent d'Anjou AOC 

max R.S is 1% where as the Cabernet d'Anjou is min R.S 

Grapes used are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

 

 

Coteaux de Saumur AOC 

 

Dry and Sweet White wine 

100% Chenin Blanc 

Late harvest, hand picked botrytised grapes. 

Off - dry to sweet wine 

 

 

Saumur Blanc AOC 

 

Dry and Sweet White wine 

Predomaintly Chenin Blanc 

Max 20% Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay either together or separetly

 

 

Saumur Rouge and Saumur-Champigny AOC 

 

Red wine 

Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

Blending partner - Pineau d'Aunis for added complexity. 

 

Champigny is a small zone of production within the Samur AOC

 

 

Saumur Mousseux AOC

 

Sparkling wine 

known as Saumur Brut 

Chenin Blanc 

max 20% Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc 

max 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Gamay, Grolleau and Pineau d'Aunis. 

 

 

 

 

 

Touraine 

 

A variety of red, white, rose and sparkling wines are produced here. 

 

Red wines from Touraine are garnet coloured. 

Aromas of raspberry and graphite/ pencil shavings. 

 

All of the AOC's for red wine are Cabernert Franc based.

Cabernet Franc is known locally as "Brenton" 

Cool climate Cabernet Franc produced here can be served cool in order to dispay the wines vibrant acidity.

 

 

Bourgueil AOC

 

Red and Rose wine

 

Cabernet Franc with a maxium of 10% Cabernert Sauvignon, added for depth and complexity

 

 

Cheverny AOC

 

White, Red, Rose wine

 

wine law here regulates the % of each grape variety planted and not the % of the grape going into the bottle

 

 

Chinon AOC 

 

White Red Rose 

Soil - sand, gravel and clay 

 

Red and Rose - max 10% Cabernert Sauvignon, for depth and complexity 

 

White - 100% Chenin Blanc 

 

 

Coteaux du Loir AOC 

 

White Red Rose 

 

White- Chenin Blanc, floral aromas 

 

Red - min 65% Pineau d'Aunis

max 30% Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Gamay 

 

Rose - min 65% Pineau d'Aunis

max 30% Grolleau, Malbec, Gamay 

 

 

Coteaux du Vendomois AOC

 

White Red Rose 

 

White 

min 80% Chenin Blanc, max 20% Chardonnay

 

Red

min 50% Pineau d'Aunis 

10-40% Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, max 20% Gamay 

 

Rose 

100% Pineau d'Aunis

 

 

Cour-Cheverny AOC

 

White only 

Located within the Cheverny AOC

100% Romorantin 

 

 

Cremant de Lorie AOC 

 

Sparkling wines

Method traidtionnelle 

min 12 months on less

min 1 month in the bottle before release

 

 

Haut-Poitou AOC

 

White Red Rose 

 

White 

min 60% Sauvignon Blanc

blending partner - Sauvignon Gris 

 

Red 

min 60% Cabernet Franc, Gamay is the principal blending partner

max 10% Merlot and Pinot Nor 

 

Rose 

min 40% Cabernet Franc 

min 20% Pinot Noir 

min 20% Gamay 

 

 

Jasnieres AOC 

 

White 

100% Chenin Blanc 

 

 

Montlouis-sur-Loire AOC 

 

Dry and Sweet White 

Located within the regional Touraine AOC 

100% Chenin Blanc 

May be dry or sweet, below are the residual sugar levels (r.s)

 

  • Sec 0-0.4% R.S

  • Demi-Sec 0.4-1.2% R.S

  • Moelleux 1.2-4.5% R.S

  • Doux min 4.5% R.S 

 

 

Montlouis-Sur-Loire Moussex and Petillant AOC 

 

White Sparkling wines

Chenin Blanc 

Petillant (fizzy) min 9 months on its lees

Mousseux - no aging requirement 

 

 

Orleans AOC 

 

White Red Rose 

 

White

Min 60% Chardonnay with the blending partner Pinot Gris

Majority of White wine is 100% Chardonnay

Chardonnay - the local name is Auvernat Blanc 

 

Rose and Red

Pinot Noir (Auvernat Noir) and Pinot Meunièr (Gris Meunièr)

 

Orleans-Clery AOC 

 

Red wine 

Cabernet Franc, up until 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon can be in the blend 

 

 

St-Nicolas Bourguiel AOC 

 

Red Rose 

Located West of Bourguiel, with slighter warmer soil that have high % of sand

Wine produced here is lighter in style than Bourgiuel and Chinon.

 

Red and Rose

Cabernet Franc 

Max 10% Cabernet Sauvignon 

Red wine - densely pigmented, generous fruit flavours. Should be consumed young.

 

 

Rose de Loire AOC 

 

Grapes can be sourced from anywhere in the Loire Valley 

 

 

Touraine AOC 

 

White Red Rose 

 

White 

Sauvignon Blanc max 20% Sauvignon Gris

 

Rose 

Blend of atleast 2 grapes, no variety can contribute more than 70%

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Gamay,  Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Groulleau

By law the Rose is Dry

Max R.S level - 0.03

 

Red

Cabernet Franc and Malbec dominant 

Blending partners - Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir

 

Sub- zones of Touraine AOC. These smaller zones of production can append their village name the Touraine AOC. 

 

Sub-zones will have to adhere to stricter regulations 

  • Lower yields

  • Higher alcohol 

 

The sub-zones are 

 

  • Mesland  - Rose must contain 80% Gamay balanced by Malbec and Cabernet Franc

  • Amboise - White, Chenin Blanc. Red, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Gamay

  • Azay-le-Rideau 

  • Oisly - White, Sauvignon Blanc 

  • Chenonceaux - White, Sauvignon Blanc. Red, Cabernet Franc and Malbec blend

 

The village name will appear on the Touraine AOC label

 

 

Touraine Primeur

 

Red wine

Gamay vinified using semi-carbonic maceration

 

 

Touraine Mousseux and Petillant AOC 

 

MousseuxWhite Red Rose Sparkling wines 

 

Can be produced from serval different grapes

Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc dominate the White blend 

Gamay and Cabernet Franc dominate the Red and Rose blend

 

Petillant -White Red Rose Sparkling wines

 

Can be produced from serval different grapes

Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc dominate the White blend 

Gamay and Cabernet Franc dominate the Red and Rose blend

 

 

Valencay AOC 

 

White Red Rose 

 

 

White

Min 70% Sauvignon Blanc 

Blending partners - Arbois and Sauvignon Gris

 

Red

30-60% Gamay 

Max 20% Caberent Franc 

Min 10% Malbec and Pinot Noir (separately) 

 

Rose

30-60% Gamay 

Max 20% Cabernet Franc

Max 30% Pineau d'Auni

Max 20% Cabernet Franc

Min 10% Malbec and Pinot Noir (separately) 

 

 

Vouvray AOC 

 

Dry and sweet White wine

Located within the regional Touraine AOC 

100% Chenin Blanc

Can be finished either dry or sweet

 

Sweet wines are made from late harvest grapes, some have been affected by botrytis cinema. 

 

  • Sec - 0-0.4% R.S (dry)

  • Demi-Sec 0.4-1.2% R.S (off dry)

  • Moelleux 1.2-4.5% R.S

  • Doux min 4.5% R.S

 

 

Vouvray Mousseux AOC and Vouvray Petillant AOC
 

100% Chenin Blanc

Quality sparkling wine from the Loire Valley

By law the AOCs have the following aging requirements 

  • Min 10 months aging  of its lees 

  • Min 12 months in cellar before release in total 

Majority of wines are 2-3 years in total 

 

No cremant is allowed to be produced used this appellation 

Mousseux and Petillant have less atmospheric pressure than Cremant

Upper Loire 

 

Smallest sub-region 

Produces White wines that are Sauvignon Blanc dominant. Sauvignon Blanc is a hardy grape variety and resistant to fungal diseases

 

The most well known white wine from the Loire Valley is produced here within this sub-region. The 2 AOCs are

 

  • Sancerre

  • Pouilly-Fume

 

Red wines that are Pinot Noir dominant 

 

Location - 125 km South of Paris, a small amount of AOCs scatter around the Loire riverbank. Close by are the Northern vineyards of Burgundy, only 112km East of Pouilly. 

 

Climate - continental 

Experiences the largest diurnal and seasonal temperatures swings in the Loire. 

 

Winter - cold, with frost and ice

Spring - short and variable 

Autumn - mild through harvest, sometimes humidity and fog can cause problems. 

 

Soil

Base - kimmeridgean limestone 

3 distinct soils type rest atop the limestone. 

 

  • Terrers Blanches - a marl rich in oyster fossils

  • Caillottes - small limestone pebbles

  • Silex - flint

 

Terrers Blanches and Silex produce wines with vibrant acidity. 

Silex soils adds a gun flint/smokey finish 

 

White grapes 

Previously planted to Chasselas, after phylloxera struck the region the switch to Sauvignon Blanc was made, due to the difficulty grafting the Chasselas grape. 

 

  • Sauvignon Blanc - principal grape of the upper Loire 

  • Chasselas 

  • Pinot Gris

  • Sacy (known locally as Tressallier)

 

Red grapes 

 

  • Pinot Noir

  • Gamay 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chateaumeillant AOC 

 

Red and Rose  that are fruit forward 

 

Red 

Min 60% Gamay, blended with Pinot Noir

 

Rose

Min 60% Gamay with Pinot Noir 

Max 15% Pinot Gris

 

 

Côte Roannaise AOC 

 

Red and Rose

100% Gamay

 

 

Cotes d'Auvergne AOC 

 

White Rose Red

 

White

100% Chardonnay 

 

Red and Rose

Min 50% Gamay

Max 50% Pinot Noir

 

 

Coteaux du Giennois AOC 

 

White  Red Rose

 

White

100% Sauvignon Blanc 

 

Red and Rose

Pinot Noir and Gamay 

 

 

Menetou-Salon AOC

 

White Red Rose

 

White 

100% Sauvignon Blanc 

The style produced here is very similar to Sancerre. 

The Kimmeridgean soils impart a vibrant acidity, citrus, spice and chamomile

 

Red and Rose

Pinot Noir

 

 

Pouilly-Fume AOC 

 

White

100% Sauvignon Blanc 

Varied soils, the soils impart different characteristics to the wine 

 

Soil - flint

Flavour profile - gun flint/smokey finish and this is how the region took it's name "fume" 

 

Soil - flint mixed with sand

Flavour profile - lighter and fruited

 

Soil - clay

Flavour profile - round, creamy texture 

 

 

Pouilly-Sur-Loire AOC 

 

White wine

Majority are Chasselas + a small portion of Sauvignon Blanc 

 

 

Quincy AOC 

 

White wine 

100% Sauvignon Blanc 

Located - near the Cher river on plateaus 

Soil - Kimmeridgean soil 

Flavour profile - citrus, white pepper and touch of menthol 

 

 

Reuilly AOC 

 

White Rose  Red

Soil - Kimmeridgean soil 

Located - vineyard flank Cher river 

 

White

100% Sauvignon Blanc 

Flavour profile - Floral, concentrated and herbal

 

Red and Rose

Pinot Noir

Flavour profile - Delicate and light bodied

 

 

Saint-Pourcain AOC 

 

White Rose  Red

Located - West Bank of the Allier river 

 

White 

Min 50% Chardonnay 

20-50% Sacy 

Max 10% Sauvignon Blanc (not-mandatory) 

 

Rose

100% Gamay 

 

Red

Min 40% Gamay

25% Pinot Noir 

 

 

Sancerre AOC 

 

White Rose  Red

 

Red and Rose

Pinot Noir

Flavour profile - cherry and plum flavours with soft silky tannins

 

White 

Sauvignon Blanc 

Flavour profile - high acid, minerality, lemon grass 

All 3 soil types are found within this AOC 

  • Terres Blanches

  • Silex

  • Caillottes 

Appellations

Vineyards of Sancerre

Viticulture

 

Loire lies close to the Northern limit 50degrees parallel 

In order for grapes to completely ripen they often left to hang on the vine late into the growing season. 

 

New canopy management techniques for vigour control have been implemented by wine growers. By controlling the vigour of the vine.

 

Harvest - end of September/early October

 

Hand Harvesting - mandatory in certain AOCs eg. 

Cremant de Loire AOC  

 

Late harvest wines, to collect the affected botrytis grapes 

Savennieres AOC, produced dry and sweet White wine. The vineyards in this AOC must be hand harvested before they can be machine harvested. 

 

Wine  making 

White wine

 

Aim is to preserve the wines natural acids and create a structural balance. 

 

CHAPTALISATION is allowed in AOC laws though only in certain years and under certain conditions. 

 

Sweet and Dessert wine

 

Chenin Blanc only grape used for Dessert wines in Loire

Grapes must be affected by Botrytis  or had an extended hang period on the vine to the point where the grapes whiter due to the sun and wind exposure, this technique is known as "Passerillage" 

 

 

Production process

 

  1. Press

  2. Must is fermented very slowly at low temperatures. (Retains intensity of fruit)

  3. Fermentation comes to an end naturally when alcohol levels kill the yeast. Residual sugar will always be present due to the sweetness of the must

  4. Oak maturation (uncommon) the result is slight oxidation that adds complexity to the wine. 

  5. Bottle maturation (best wines) mature slowly in the cellar before bottling, anywhere from 8months to several years. 

  6. Majority of sweet/dessert wine are bottled after fermentation to preserve the fruit.

  7. High acid and R.S levels create a wine that will last a life time

 

 

 

Roses

 

Production

Direct press or Saignee 

 

Sparkling Wine 

 

Methode Traditonelle 

A general term used for Loire  Sparkling wine is "fines bullies" (fine bubbles) 

Different style of sparkling include

 

 

Petillant 

Mousseux

Cremant 

 

 

Red wine

 

High acid red wine 

Malo-lactic fermentation - not always 100% of the wine goes through this process

Chaptalisation is allowed by AOC law

 

How long should you hang on to your Loire wines?

 

Chenin Blanc is an age-worthy white due to it's high acid levels 

Chenin Blanc can be consumed young or some can last decades

The sweet and dry wine from Savennieres AOC are usually cellared. 

 

Other Red, White and Rose wines are produced for immediate consumption 

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