Wine Sancerre

The AOC Sancerre has world-renowned wines, largely due to its excellent dry white wines. They are absolutely incomparable and offer some of the most prestigious white wines in France. But this vineyard also produces very good rosé wines, subtle and delicate; and round, light and fragrant red wines. Read more on Sancerre
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Appellation Sancerre

The Sancerre vineyard is nicknamed the "Holy Land"

The Sancerre AOC is one of the 5 main wine-growing terroirs of the Loire's "Vignoble du Centre". This exceptional vineyard was once referred to as a "blessed land". It contains the memory of wines cited by poets dating back to the reign of Philippe II, named "Auguste". He was one of the greatest rulers in French history. Sancerre is a small town in the Loire Valley, also known as "La Vallée des Rois". François I was one of the first kings to take up residence here and to play an active part in the development of the region's wines.

The history of the vineyards of the Loire does not allow us to clearly specify the origin of the first vine crops. However, a historical tool exhibited at the "Musée du Vin", proves that in Gallo-Roman times, they were already using the famous: press. The village of Sancerre is located in the middle of the Centre vineyard. It has been in existence since 582, as historical writings bear witness to this.

The vineyards enjoy a landscape of rolling hills, and hillsides carved by the longest river in France: the Loire. The vineyard extends over 14 communes, and represents a total of over 2,900 hectares of crops. The main grape varieties of the Sancerrois have not always been Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Before the mythical attack of "phylloxera" in France in the 19th Century, winegrowers cultivated a different and far less qualitative grape variety.

Following the destruction of its vineyard, Sancerre decided to take the opportunity to transform it and start from scratch. From then on, the quality of Sancerre wines has continued to grow, thanks to the hard work of its vignerons. In 1936, the White Sancerre obtained the AOC label. In 1959, the label was also awarded to rosé and red wines.

The vineyard produces about 25 million bottles each year, of which 75% are dry white wines, 20% are dry red wines and only 5% are dry rosé wines; all of which fall into the "still wines" category. They are exported and appreciated all over the world.

The Sancerre vineyard benefits from a semi-continental and oceanic climate

The Sancerre vineyard has a semi-continental and oceanic climate. The summers are hot and dry, while the winters are cold and harsh. The hilly terrain is very different from one plot of land to another. This means that many microclimates benefit the ripening of the grapes.

The region's vines are rooted in chalky-clay soils, and often stony. Sancerre, on the other hand, offers a particularly chalky soil. The roots of its vines, cross many layers of rock. The 3 main terroirs that make up this soil are the caillottes, the clayey-siliceous soils and the white soils: whose clay makes it possible to offer a white wine with a complex, round and full-bodied character.

The AOC Sancerre makes its wines from 2 main grape varieties, the Pinot noir for red and rosé wines and Sauvignon for the typical and incredible Sancerre white wine. Sauvignon is the most widely used grape variety in the "Vignoble du Centre" region, but also in many vineyards in the rest of the Loire. It offers a vast aromatic palette. These give the white wine of Sancerre, a sumptuous racy and elegant character.

White wines offer a maximum yield of 55 hectolitres per hectare, while rosé and red wines, are limited to 50 hl/ha. Finally, the average production of this appellation d'origine contrôlée is 100,000 hectolitres per year, 75% of which are white wines. This is a good production for a wine-growing area of 1,800 hectares.

What to expect when tasting a glass of Sancerre?

In general, the wines of this appellation have an ageing potential of between 1 and 5 years; even more for the best white wines. Otherwise, they are best consumed young and fresh.

The white Sancerre has a pale golden colour. Sauvignon being the main grape variety of this white wine, it evokes notes of citrus and flowers, such as: orange, grapefruit, lemon and acacia. The terroirs of the vineyard are so varied, that the aromas offered by these wines seem unique each time.

The dry white Sancerre, is a "still wine", very aromatic with flavours of quince and blackcurrant, orange and orange blossom, apple or mint and even notes of honey and spices. The whole brings a light, elegant and structured result.

The red Sancerre whose ruby colour, derived from pinot noir, gives this red wine delicious notes of cherry, morello cherry and venison. These are supple wines, thanks to the melted tannins.

The Sancerre rosé which is made from pinot noir, its colour is adorned with grey reflections. These wines give off sweet peach scents, with a fresh and fruity taste.

What are the great vintages in Sancerre?

The year 1959 is one of the most important dates in the history of the vintage of the white red and rosé wines of the AOC. It is considered to be a "vintage of the century". Even better, the year 1989 surpassed all others, it was designated as a "vintage of the millennium". In 2005 a new, more recent, but equally successful "vintage of the century" was made.

What dish to enhance a Sancerre?

This wide range of wines, pairs well with many dishes, including charcuterie as a starter, poultry, seafood, or fish as a main course but also cheeses, such as "crottin de Chavignol".

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