Lost in THE LOIRE

France|August 2020

Lost in THE LOIRE
Beyond Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, Dominic Rippon delves into the lesser-known vineyards of Centre-Loire
Dominic Rippon

The vineyards of Centre-Loire stand at the Loire Valley’s easternmost extremity – closer to Burgundy’s Côte-d’Or than they are to Angers, to the west.

The sauvignon blanc grape dominates white winemaking, while Burgundy’s pinot noir and Beaujolais’ Gamay grapes make increasingly ambitious reds and characterful rosés.

While the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé appellations hog the international limelight, a host of other, more confidential, wines are to be found in hidden corners of Centre-Loire, often representing better value than their more illustrious siblings. Among the region’s most ancient vineyards are those of Quincy, some 20 kilometres west of Bourges on the banks of the River Cher. Quincy was the Loire Valley’s first vineyard area to receive appellation d’origine status in 1936.

Sauvignon blanc grapes are grown on steep terraces, making some of the region’s ripest, most robust white wines from predominantly sandy soils.

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August 2020