Pays Nantais Vineyard – 7 AOC
The Pays Nantais Vineyard is one of five wine-making regions of the Loire Valley.
It spreads on the western side of the Loire Valley, south of Nantes, and in the departments of Loire-Atlantique, Vendée and Maine-et-Loire.
The vines grow on schist, granite and silt soils and benefit from a temperate-oceanic climate.
The whites represent the bulk of production.
They are produced from Melon de Bourgogne, Pineau de la Loire and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Pays Nantais Vineyard also produces reds and rosés.
These are obtained from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Négrette.
The Pays Nantais Vineyard consists of 7 AOC:
Côteaux d’Ancenis, Fiefs Vendéens, Gros Plant du Pays Nantais, Muscadet Blanc, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine, Muscadet des Côtes de Grandlieu, Muscadet des Côteaux de Loire.
The Côteaux d’Ancenis are located in the outskirts of Nantes in the Loire-Atlantique and Maine-et-Loire.
This small 220ha vineyard produces red, rosé, dry white, semi dry and even sweet white if harvested late.
The Côteaux d’Ancenis are produced from Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris-Malvaisie and Pineau de la Loire grape varieties.
1- Côteaux d’Ancenis Gamay rouge are delicate and fruity wines with notes of red fruits.
2- Côteaux d’Ancenis Cabernet rouge are more powerful with aromas of red and black fruits and pepper.
They should be served with game.
They keep 5 years.
3- Côteaux d’Ancenis Cabernet rosé are soft and light wines with aromas of red fruits.
They go very well with charcuterie and white meats.
4- Côteaux d’Ancenis Pinot Gris have a beautiful yellow colour; they are round with aromas of exotic fruits.
They should be served at 8°C.
The sweet (moelleux) are perfect dessert wines!
5- Côteaux d’Ancenis Pineau de Loire are characteristic racy wines, pale yellow in colour with green hues.
These round, soft and aromatic wines are excellent dessert wines.
They should be served young and at 8°C.
The Fiefs Vendéens are located quite south of Nantes.
The 490ha vineyard produces red, rosés and white wines obtained from a blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grolleau Gris and Negrette.
1- Fiefs Vendéens reds have a pretty garnet colour with violet hues and have powerful tannins.
They are ideal with spicy dishes and should be served at 16°C and preferably young.
2- Fiefs Vendéens rosés are produced mostly from Pinot Noir and Gamay and sometimes with an addition of Negrette.
These pink-grey wines are refreshing, pleasant wines with delicate aromas and a mineral touch.
They should be served at 11°C and preferably young with fish and seafood.
3- The excellent Fiefs Vendéens whites are produced from Chenin and Chardonnay.
These pale yellow with greenish hues wines are sharp, thin and flexible with a nice acidity.
They should be served at 12°C with oysters; some vintages keep over 5 years.
Gros Plant du Pays Nantais
The Gros Plant du Pays Nantais is a dry white wine, ranked AOVDQS in 1954 and AOC in 2011.
The 1400ha vineyard is located around Nantes – as its name suggests – in the Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire and Vendée.
The Gros Plant du Pays Nantais is different from all the other Loire region wines,.
It is indeed essentially produced from a single grape variety, the Folle Blanche, locally called Gros Plant.
It is a pale yellow wine with green hues, vigorous, very dry and aromatic, that should be served at 8°C; it is perfect with seafood.
Le Gros Plant sur lie is produced according to the ‘on the lees‘ method.
It has the same colour as the Gros Plant du Pays Nantais.
However, it is rounder, yet still dry and mineral; it should be served at 8°C and goes very well with oysters.
It can be drunk young, however, can also be kept for 2 years.
The vineyard is ancient; local religious communities indeed developed it during the early Middle-Ages.
Muscadet is exclusively produced from Melon de Bourgogne.
This grape variety that thrives on the soil of the region (gneiss, mica, schist, silt, granite …)
1- Muscadet blanc accounts for about three quarters of the production with a 13,000ha vineyard.
It was granted an AOC in 1937.
The AOC Muscadet has two denominations: Muscadet sur lie and Muscadet Primeur.
The Muscadet sur lie is named after the technique of culture “on the lees”.
This fine and very dry wine has a nice pale yellow colour with strong green hues and very defined mineral aromas.
It should be served at 8°C with seafood; it keeps between 3 and 5 years.
The ‘standard’ Muscadet Blanc has similar, however, less pronounced aromatic characteristics that the Muscadet sur lie.
The Muscadet Primeur enjoys all these characteristics, but with less intensity and structure.
Muscadet is the perfect wine to serve with oysters!
Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine
The Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine accounts for the largest part with a 8000ha vineyard that was granted an AOC in 1936.
It is the star wine of the Pays Nantais region!
It is produced in 21 municipalities in Loire Atlantique and 2 in Maine-et-Loire.
The vines grow on sedimentary rock, sandstone, gneiss, schist, granite and silt.
Located between three water masses, the ocean and the rivers Sèvre and Petite Maine, it benefits from a temperate and oceanic climate.
It has a superb bronze colour, and is a vigorous wine with a nice acidity and mineral notes.
It is ideal with seafood and should be served at 10°C.
It preferably to drink it young, however, it can keep up to 3 years.
Muscadet des Côtes de Grandlieu
The Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu is the latest of the Pays Nantais Wines to have been granted an AOC in 1994.
The 300ha vineyard is located in the southwest of Nantes near the Lac de Grandlieu.
It unfolds in 17 municipalities in Loire Atlantique and 2 in Maine-et-Loire.
Vines grow on a terroir similar to that of the Muscadet Côteaux de la Loire.
However, it is subject to climate variations due to its proximity to three water masses: the coast, the river Loire and the lake.
The Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu is pale yellow with bronze hues.
It is a bright and aromatic wine that should be served at 8°C with fish, seafood and oysters in particular.
Some vintages can keep up to 5 years.
Muscadet des Côteaux de la Loire
The Muscadet Côteaux de la Loire is the smallest vineyard (200ha) in the Pays Nantais Wines area.
It was granted an AOC in 1936.
It is located on the south facing hills between the towns of Ingrandes and Carquefou near Ancenis, to the north-east of Nantes.
It unfolds in 16 municipalities in Loire-Atlantique and 8 in Maine-et-Loire.
This pale yellow wine with bronze hues is dry, vigorous and well structured.
It should be served at 8°C with fish.