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Sancerre Wines

Dominating the Loire River from their hilltops, the vineyards of Sancerre were destined for great winemaking.
Sancerre vineyards spread through 14 villages over magnificent hills perfectly suited for the vines: well-oriented, exposed and protected, this with the limestone and flint soils contribute to the marvelous quality of these wines. The two grape varieties that reign in Sancerre are the Sauvignon Blanc and the Pinot Noir. White wines are fresh, fine and fruity; rosés are tender and subtle, the reds aromatic and round.

Harvest time in Sancerre

A little history...

According to legends, vines have been planted in Sancerre since ancient times. Evidence of the existence of vines in Sancerre is given by Gregory of Tours in 582 in his Historiae Francorum. In the 12th century, cultivation of vines was given added impetus through the combined efforts of the Augustine monks in St-Satur and the ruling counts of Sancerre. At that time Sancerre was famous for its red wine, produced predominantly from the Pinot Noir grape, and exported from the region along the Loire. This wine is often mentioned in accounts of life at the royal court. The famous wine of Sancerre was, in the opinion of Duke Jean de Berry, indeed the finest wine to be found in the entire kingdom.

In more modern times, cultivation of the vines has undergone some major changes. The original vineyards, which were predominantly planted with Pinot Noir, were destroyed by phylloxera at the end of the 19th century. Sauvignon Blanc has since become widely planted and is particularly well-suited to the local climate.

The natural advantage of this terroir and the local producers' skills enables the region to produce great wines that have gained the AOC status in 1936. The red and rosé wines, made from the noble Pinot Noir, followed in 1959 when they were awarded the AOC accreditation.

Pebbly-limestone clays

The vineyard

Situated on the banks of the Loire river northeast of Bourges, the Sancerre vineyards cover an area of around 2 800 hectares (6900 acres).

It is composed of three soil types:

-"Terres blanches" ("white soils") composed of limestone-clay soils found on the westernmost hills of the Sancerre area.

- Pebbly-limestone soils ("Caillottes")

- Flinty clay soils found on the eastern slopes of the area.

The vineyards of Sancerre spreads throught the villages of Bannay, Bué, Crézancy, Menetou-Ratel, Ménétréol, Montigny, St-Satur, Ste Gemme, Sancerre, Sury-en-Vaux, Thauvenay, Veaugues, Verdigny and Vinon. One can also mention three recognized hamlets Amigny, Chavignol and Maimbray.

 

 

 

 

Picnic in Sancerre region

Tasting notes

The white wines, lively and full of fruit; proposes citrus, white flowers and mineral aromas. The fresh attack gives way to a rich and round palate typical of these great wines.

The red wines illustrate the virtues of Pinot Noir. They offer a bouquets of cherry and morellos. From the traditional more fruity style, to the more ample and rich, these red wines will astonish you.

The rosé wines, dry but fruity,  surprising by their finesse and freshness, stay unique to Sancerre.

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