Touraine Vineyard – 15 AOC
Touraine is a 5500ha vineyard situated along the Loire and Cher rivers between Saumur and Orléans.
It unfolds in 70 municipalities of the departments of Cher, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Sarthe and Vienne.
This region enjoys a temperate climate with fluctuating oceanic influences.
The Romans planted the Touraine Vineyard some 2000 years ago.
However, the monks of the Abbey of Marmoutier developed it in the 4th century AD.
Most vines grow on a mix of chalk (tufa-tuffeau), limestone, gravel (graves), clay and flint with slight variations from a vineyard to another.
The Touraine Vineyard produces red, rosé, white, sweet (moelleux), sparkling (mousseux) and fizzy (pétillants) wines.
The Touraine rouge (rich in tannins) and rosé (dry) are mainly produced from Cabernet Rouge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Côt, Gamay, Grolleau et du Pineau d’Aunis.
The Touraine blanc are mainly produced from Chenin Blanc locally known as Pineau de Loire, Melon de Bourgogne, Sauvignon and Romorantin.
These dry, fruity and full wines have a superb aging potential.
Most Touraine wines were granted an AOC in 1939.
The Touraine Vineyard has 15 AOC:
Touraine, Touraine Noble-Joué, Bourgueil, Cheverny, Cour-Cheverny, Chinon, Côteaux du Loir, Côteaux du Vendômois, Crémant de la Loire, Haut Poitou, Jasnières, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Rosé de Loire, St-Nicolas de Bourgueil and Vouvray
Touraine – Touraine Vineyard
Touraine are mostly dry wines and include a large selection of red, white and rosé, still, sparkling, bubbly, fizzy, semi dry and sweet (moelleux).
1- Touraine rouge is produced from Côt Noir and Cabernet Franc Noir; it is fruity and has a deep red colour.
2- Touraine rosé is a refreshing and light wine with a beautiful pink-golden-brown colour, almost grey.
It is produced from a selection of grape varieties ranging from Gamay Noir, Meunier Noir, Pinot Noir, Grolleau Gris and Noir, Côt Noir, Pineau d’Aunis …
3- Touraine Blanc is produced primarily from Sauvignon Blanc.
It has an attractive yellow colour with green hues; it is a dry, aromatic and mineral wine.
4- Touraine mousseux blanc (sparkling) and pétillant (fizzy) have fine bubbles.
They are produced from Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay Blanc, Grolleau gris, Orbois blanc…
5- The Touraine appellation also includes the Touraine Mousseux rosé (sparkling pink), Touraine Primeur rosé and Touraine Primeur rouge which are produced from a large selection of grape varieties.
The AOC Touraine includes also six distinct geographical designations:Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux, Mesland, Oisly, and Touraine Noble-Joué (listed independently).
This a 220ha vineyard that spreads over 10 municipalities around the city of Amboise.
It produces 60% of reds which are a blend of Cabernet Franc or Breton, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec-Côt and Gamay Noir.
1- Amboise rouge has generous aromas of red fruits and musk.
2- Amboise rosé (30%) is a light and refreshing wine with floral aromas.
It is produced from the same grape varieties as the Amboise red but in different proportions.
3- Amboise Blanc (10%) is produced from Pineau de la Loire.
It is a fine white wine with notes of fruits, honey and citrus which is also available in sweet (moelleux) and semi-dry.
This small vineyard of 65ha spreads around the city of Azay-le-Rideau and its castle.
1- Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau white is produced from Pineau de la Loire and is a fruity and mineral light yellow wine.
2- Touraine Azay-le-Rideau rosé has a bright pink colour.
This refreshing wine is produced from Chenin, Gamay and Grolleau and has aromas of red berries.
The Chenonceau vineyard produces white and red wines.
1- Chenonceau Blanc is a dry white produced from Sauvignon Blanc.
2- Chenonceau rouge is made from Côt Noir and Cabernet Franc Noir.
Mesland is a 105ha vineyard that produces red wine with aromas of red fruits and rich in tannin.
1- Mesland rosé is a powerful yet delicate wine with aromas of red fruits and spices.
Both wines are produced from Gamay.
2- Mesland Blanc is produced from Pineau de la Loire.
This refreshing white wine has a large array of aromas ranging from fruits to spices, flowers and minerals.
Oisly is a dry white wine produced from Sauvignon Blanc.
Touraine Noble-Joué – Touraine Vineyard
This 28ha vineyard unfolds in 5 municipalities in the Indre-et-Loir department.
It was granted an AOC in 2001 and is the latest addition to the AOC Touraine wines.
This tiny vineyard produces an unusual pink-grey rosé wine obtained from the blending of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir grape varieties.
This refreshing wine has aromas of tart red fruit, berries and flowers with a hint of spices; it should be served at 8C° with white meats and charcuterie.
Bourgeuil – Touraine Vineyard
The Bourgueil 1300ha vineyard unfolds in 7 municipalities located in Indre-et-Loire, just at the limit with Anjou.
These red and rosé wines are produced from Cabernet Franc, a grape variety imported from the Bordeaux region.
The vines grow on the sunny south facing slopes, where they benefit from a continental climate with maritime influences.
They extract their nutrients from the chalk, limestone, sand and gravel (graves) of the river bank.
The Bourgueil are renowned for their fruity, floral and spicy aromas.
Saint-Nicolas de Bourgeuil – Touraine Vineyard
St-Nicolas de Bourgueil is 1050ha vineyard named after the village of Indre-et-Loire located at the boundary with Maine-et-Loire in Anjou.
It produces mainly red wines from the Cabernet Franc grape variety, however, the Cabernet Sauvignon can be used up to 10%.
The rosé wines represent only 2% of the production.
Located on the hills at the confluence of the Loire and Vienne, this vineyard is protected from the north by a wooded area.
This exposition allows it to benefit from maritime influences.
The vines grow on three soil types ranging from chalk, limestone, gravel (graves) and sand, and silt.
Bourgueil wines have a deep red colour and fruity and spicy aromas.
They are ideal with white grilled meat or stewed red meat and fish and also with local goat cheeses!
Some wines produced on the chalky areas can be kept between 5 and 10 years unlike those produced on gravels.
Cheverny – Touraine Vineyard
Cheverny is a 530ha vineyard that produces white, rosé and red wines known for their freshness.
It spreads over 24 municipalities located in Loir-et-Cher in the Sologne region.
This area enjoys a temperate climate with fluctuating oceanic influences.
Cheverny wines were granted an AOC in 1993.
Cheverny produces a dry white wine obtained mainly (60-80%) from Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties blended with Orbois, Chardonnay and Pineau de la Loire.
Sparkling white represents only a fraction of production.
Cheverny also produces red and rosé wines renowned for their freshness and fruity aromas.
1- Cheverny Blanc has a pale yellow colour with green hues.
It is a refreshing and fruity wine with a hint of roundness coming from the Chardonnay.
It keeps up to 3 years but can be drunk within the first year.
It should be served at 8°C with seafood and goat cheese of the region.
2- Cheverny red is produced 40-65% from Gamay and Pinot Noir with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Malbec-Côt.
It has a lovely ruby colour with violet hues and is fruity with hints of spices.
It goes nicely with poultry, red meat and cheese and should be served at 14°C.
It can be kept for 10 years.
3- Cheverny rosé is obtained by adding some Pineau d’Aunis to the grape varieties used to produce the red.
It is round and delicate, yet lively and fruity, with a beautiful salmon colour.
It is at its best when served at 8°C and is ideal with salads and grilled meats.
Cour Cheverny – Touraine Vineyard
Cour Cheverny is a white wine produced in 11 communes spread in Loir-et-Cher in the Sologne region.
This tiny 50ha vineyard is planted only with Romorantin Blanc, a grape variety introduced in the 16th century.
The vine grows on sandy, clay, silica and limestone soils that give a golden colour and fruity aromas to the wine.
The vineyard benefits from a temperate climate with variable oceanic influences.
The Cour Cheverny was granted an AOC in 1993.
Chinon – Touraine Vineyard
The Chinon vineyard spreads over 2300ha around the medieval town of Chinon and its castle.
It owes its reputation to the humanist writer François Rabelais, a native of the region.
Indeed, Rabelais already praised the qualities of this wine in his poems on the bon vin de chinon (15th century).
Chinon is located at the confluence of the Loire and Vienne.
It benefits from a temperate climate with fluctuating oceanic influences.
The area is exposed to the influence of various seasonal winds that define the characteristics of the vintages.
Southwest winds produce a warm and humid climate.
The east winds, on the other hand, generate a cool and dry climate that influence the evolution of the grapes’ maturation.
Chinon was granted an AOC in 1937 and produces red, rosé and white wines.
The vines grow on a diversified terroir.
Some vineyards were planted on the alluvial, sandy and gravel terraces.
Others are on the limestone hillsides or on the plateau where they extract their nutrients from soils rich in clay and silica.
1- Chinon rouge is mainly produced from Cabernet Franc or Breton in 18 municipalities spread in Indre-et-Loire.
This ruby wine is rich in tannins and has beautiful aromas of red fruits and minerals.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety can be used up to 10%.
It should be served at 16°C with red meat and cheese.
Some vintages can be kept up to 10 years.
2- Chinon rosé has a lovely light pink colour and aromas of red and black fruits.
It is produced from the same grape varieties as the red, however, in different proportions.
3- Chinon blanc is produced from Pineau de la Loire.
This grape variety produces dry or semi dry pale yellow wines with green hues and floral and fruity aromas.
It should be drunk when young and served at 11°C with fish and seafood – perfect with oysters!
Côteaux du Loir – Touraine Vineyard
The Côteaux du Loir vineyard covers an area of a little less than 80ha and produces red (50%), rosé (20%) and white (30%) wines.
It was granted an AOC in 1948; it unfolds in 16 municipalities in Sarthe and 6 in Indre-et-Loire.
Located on the hills of the river Loir and protected from the north by a wooded area, it enjoys an oceanic micro climate.
The vines grow on a soil composed of chalk, limestone, silica and clay.
1- Côteaux du Loir red is produced from Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay, Cabernet and Malbec-Côt.
It has a bright red colour with purple hues and aromas of red fruits, flowers and spices.
It should be served at 14°C with red and white grilled meat and regional charcuterie.
It can keep up to a maximum of 3 years.
2- Côteaux du Loir rosé has a beautiful salmon colour and citrus and spicy aromas.
It is produced from the same grape varieties as the red, however, in different proportions and with the addition (maximum 20%) of Grolleau Noir.
This rosé is ideal for the aperitif and should be served at 10°C.
3- Côteaux du Loir white is available in dry and semi dry and has a beautiful yellow colour with green hues.
This is a refreshing wine with aromas of citrus and flowers with a mineral edge.
It should be served at 10°C with fish, poultry and goat cheese of the region.
It benefits from being kept in the cellar for 5 to 10 years.
Côteaux du Vendômois – Touraine Vineyard
Côteaux du Vendômois is a 150ha vineyard producing red, grey (gris) and white wines.
It is located on the banks of the river Loir and unfolds in 28 municipalities in Loir-et-Cher.
The vines extract their nutrients from chalk, clay, flint and limestone soils; they benefit from a temperate climate with fluctuating oceanic influences.
1- Côteaux du Vendômois red is produced from Pineau d’Aunis, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.
It is deep red with violet hues and has aromas of black fruits with hints of red fruits, pepper and flowers.
This wine rich in tannins should be drunk within two years of production and served at 14°C with the regional charcuterie.
3- Côteaux du Vendômois white is produced from Pineau de la Loire, with occasional addition of Chardonnay (20% maximum).
It has a lovely yellow colour with golden and sometimes green hues; it is a flowery and slightly fruity wine with a mineral edge.
It should be served at 10°C , however, must keep in the cellar for three years beforehand.
4- Côteaux du Vendômois gris (grey) is produced exclusively from Pineau d’Aunis; it contributes to the originality of the AOC!
The unusual grey colour with golden-brown hues is obtained by reducing the time of maceration of the grapes (direct compression).
This round, fruity and peppery wine should be drunk young and served at 11°C.
Crémant de la Loire – Touraine Vineyard
The Crémant de Loire is produced in Touraine and Anjou-Saumur regions.
This fizzy white or rosé wine is an excellent substitute for Champagne.
1- Crémant blanc is produced from Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.
It has a nice light yellow colour with green highlights.
This light and fine wine has fine bubbles and a dense foam.
It should be served at 8°C with seafood or for aperitif; it keeps 3 years.
2- Crémant rosé is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc and Grolleux.
It has a beautiful salmon colour, creamy foam (as its name suggests!) and red berries and red fruits aromas.
This is a dessert wine that should be drunk young and served at 8°C.
Haut Poitou – Touraine Vineyard
The Haut Poitou is a 754ha vineyard that unfolds in 2 municipalities in Vienne and 45 in Deux-Sèvres.
This region situated to the north and west of Poitiers corresponds to the north of the historic province of Poitou.
It is part of the Loire Valley wine area, despite being a long way south; it is produced in Touraine and Anjou-Saumur regions.
The vines grow on soils composed of sand, chalk, limestone, sandstone, granite and gravel and enjoy an oceanic and continental climate.
This vineyard produces red, rosé and white wines.
1- Haut Poitou red is mainly produced from Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir grapes varieties.
It has a ruby colour with purple hues and aromas of red fruits and sometimes spices.
This refreshing and light wine should be drunk young and served at 14°C with lamb meat.
2- Haut Poitou rosé is a refreshing wine with a pretty light pink colour and aromas of red berries.
It is ideal for aperitif and should be served at 8°C.
3- Haut Poitou white is produced from Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.
This refreshing wine is light yellow with greenish hues and has aromas of citrus and flowers.
It should be served at 8°C and goes very well with seafood – especially oysters – and goat cheese.
However, this very pleasant wine doesn’t keep.
Jasnières – Touraine Vineyard
The Jasnières vineyard produces only white wines.
This renowned and tiny 65ha vineyard is located in 2 municipalities in Sarthe, and overlaps the Côteaux du Loir.
These two AOC are the northernmost vineyards of the Loire Valley wine region.
The monks of the Abbey of Marmoutier planted the Jasnières vineyard in the Middle Ages on the south and southeast facing slopes.
The vines enjoy a temperate climate with fluctuating oceanic influences.
They extract their nutrients from the chalk, limestone, clay and flint soil.
These very characteristic white wines are produced from Chenin Blanc.
They are refreshing and fruity with a mineral edge and have a light yellow colour with golden hues.
The great vintages can keep up to 15 years!
Jasnières is served with shellfish, fish, white meat and goat cheese of the Loire region.
The vineyard occasionally produces a sweet white or moelleux during exceptional years.
Montlouis-sur-Loire – Touraine Vineyard
Montlouis-sur-Loire produces delicate dry, sweet, sparkling and fizzy whites from Chenin Blanc.
This 370ha vineyard is located opposite Vouvray’s and unfolds in 2 municipalities in Indre-et-Loire.
The vines grow on chalk, limestone, clay and flin soil and enjoy a temperate climate with variable oceanic influences.
Montlouis wines have a lovely light yellow colour with golden hues.
These excellent dry whites are perfect with fish and goat cheese; they keep between 3 and 5 years.
1- Montlouis moelleux (sweet) has a slightly pronounced yellow colour.
It has a beautifully balance acidity-sugar and the most pleasant fruity aromas; the best vintages can keep up to 15 years!
Montlouis moelleux is an ideal dessert wine and goes very well with foie gras.
2- The excellent Montlouis mousseux (sparkling) has fine bubbles and can be a perfect substitute to the expensive Champagne!
3- Montlouis pétillant (fizzy) is a sparkling wine with finer bubbles.
Montlouis wines should be served at 10°C.
Rosé de Loire – Touraine Vineyard
The Rosé de Loire is produced in Touraine and Anjou-Saumur regions.
This is a light but quite dry rosé wine.
It is produced from Cabernet, Grolleau, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay and Côt grape varieties.
This pale pink has occasional grey hues.
It is a fresh, round and fruity wine.
It should be drunk young.
It is at its best when served at 8°C with charcuterie and salads.
Vouvray – Touraine Vineyard
Vouvray, one of the featured wines of the Loire, was granted an AOC in 1936.
The 200ha vineyard unfolds in 7 municipalities located around the village of Vouvray, west of Tours in Indre-et-Loir.
The village is nestled in the heart of the vineyard, which according to legend, was planted by St-Martin during the 4th century.
What we know for sure, however, is that the monks of the Abbey of Marmoutier developed the vineyard.
The vines grow on the slopes and plateaus where they extract their nutrients from chalk, gravel, flint, clay and limestone.
Vouvray produces dry, sweet, sparkling and fizzy white wines from Pineau de la Loire.
The characteristics of these wines depend on the climatic conditions during the maturation phase of the grapes.
Hot summers trigger the development of the Noble Rot.
The fungus coats and dehydrates the grapes and trigger higher levels of sugar necessary for the production of sweet wines.
Coolest summers produce dry, sparkling (mousseux), fizzy (pétillant) or semi-fizzy wines.
1- Vouvray sec is a refreshing dry white wine with a nice straw colour with green hues and citrus aromas.
It should be served at 10°C with charcuterie.
2- Vouvray moelleux (sweet) has a nice straw colour with golden hues.
Its alcohol-sugar-acidity balance is perfect; it is a round wine with aromas of ripe fruit.
It should be served at 11°C with foie gras and desserts.
The best vintages can keep up to 50 years!
3- Vouvray mousseux is a deep yellow colour wine with fine bubbles and mineral aromas with fruity notes.
This is an excellent aperitif wine that should be served at 10°C.
4- Vouvray pétillant has smaller and thinner bubbles than the mousseux, however, shares the same aromatic qualities.
Vouvray wines have a wonderful aging potential because of the natural acidity of Pineau de la Loire.