Ch 6 The Center-Loire

  1. Name 17 wine-growing regions in France, N to S
    • *Lorraine
    • Champagne
    • Alsace
    • Loire Valley
    • Bourgogne
    • *Jura
    • *Savoie
    • Beaujolais
    • *Bugey
    • *Lyonnais
    • Bordeaux
    • Rhone Valley
    • Southwest
    • Provence
    • Languedoc
    • Roussillon
    • Corsica
    • Note: * not a major region
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  2. T or F? The Centre-Loire refers to the middle of the Loire Valley
    False: It refers to the center of France
  3. Name the 3 areas that Centre-Loire AOCs are grouped into
    • Loire river between Orléans and Nevers
    • Cher river, near Bourges
    • Between the Cher and Indre Rivers
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  4. Name the 4 Centre-Loire AOCs on the Loire river between Orléans and Nevers, west to east
    • Sancerre
    • Coteaux du Giennois
    • Pouilly-Fumé
    • Pouilly-sur-Loire
  5. Name the 3 Centre-Loire AOCs near the Cher river and Bourges, west to east
    • Reuilly
    • Quincy
    • Menetou-Salon
  6. Name the Centre-Loire AOC between the Cher and Indre rivers
  7. T or F? The Centre-Loire AOCs produce only still wine
    True: 82% of them are crisp whites from Sauvignon Blanc
  8. T or F? Half of Centre-Loire AOC wine is exported
  9. Describe the soils in Centre-Loire vineyards
    • Subsoils (2): Kimmeridgian and Portlandian chalks
    • Topsoils (4): Terres blanches (Kimmeridgian marl), Cailottes (Portlandian limestone), Silex, aka Chailloux (Flint), Sandy gravels
  10. Pronounce Caillotes, Silex, and Chailloux
    • Caillotes: "Kai-yotes", means clots
    • Silex: "See-ex", means flint
    • Chailloux: "Sai-you", local name for Silex in Pouilly Fumé
  11. Describe the climate in the Centre-Loire
  12. Name the 6 Centre-Loire grape varieties
    • White (2): Sauvignon Blanc, Chasselas
    • Grey (2): Sauvignon Gris, Pinot Gris
    • Red (2): Gamay, Pinot Noir
  13. T or F? Romans brought winemaking to the Centre-Loire
    • True: No evidence has yet been found that the Bituriges Cubi Celtic tribe of Gaul were already growing the grapevine prior to the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC
    • Note: Winemaking further expanded with the advent of Christianity
  14. T or F? The Centre-Loire was known for quality Pinot Noir in the 15-16th centuries
  15. T or F? The Centre-Loire produced bulk wine from Chasselas Blanc during the 19th century
    True: Producers sought high-yielding grapes to meet the demands of Paris
  16. T or F? The Centre-Loire replanted Sauvignon Blanc after the phylloxera epidemic
    True: however, quantity remained the focus
  17. When did the Centre-Loire change their focus to quality?
    When manpower decreased due to 2 world wars. Lesser vineyards were ripped out and AOC designations were achieved.
  18. T or F? The planted area of Centre-Loire vineyards has doubled in the past 30 years
    True: Menetou-Salon and Reuilly AOCs lead in new plantings are experiencing a golden age
  19. Discuss Coteaux du Giennois AOC
    • AOC: 1998
    • Départements: Loiret, Nièvre
    • Location: 14 villages, mostly on the right bank of the Loire river
    • Size: total: 700 ha/1,730 acres, vineyards: 200 ha/494 acres
    • Yield: white: 65 hl/ha, 4.6 tons/acre; rosé: 63 hl/ha, 4.5 tons/acre; red: 59 hl/ha, 4.2 tons/acre
    • Blend: 50% white: 100% Sauvignon Blanc; 30% red: min 20% Pinot Noir, min 20% Gamay; 20% rosé: same as red
    • RS: white/rosé: < 4 g/L, red: < 2.5 g/L
    • Wines: white: minerality and bright acidity, white flowers and quince; rosé: ripe peach, pepper, refreshing; red: garnet, raspberry, strawberry, spice
    • Release: white/rosé: Dec 15; red: March 15
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  20. What is the village of Gien ("jee-ahn") known for?
    • A tin-glazed pottery known as Faience ("Fay-yonce") earthenware
    • Note: Gien is 50 miles east of Orléans on the Loire river
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  21. Discuss the history of the Coteaux du Giennois AOC
    • Prior to phylloxera there were 2 zones of production, near the towns of Gien and Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire ("Koon-Kor") - the gravevine was cultivated here in the 11th century.
    • After phylloxera each created their own syndicate.
    • They united in 1998 by the creation of the AOC.
  22. T or F? The Coteaux du Giennois lies at the same latitude as Chablis
    True: separated by 100 km/62 miles and the Morvan Natural Park (which protects Giennois from storm clouds, as do the hills of Sancerre to the W/SW).
  23. Describe the climate of the Coteaux du Giennois
    • Temperate continental: temperatures regulated by the Loire river.
    • Southern parts are dryer than the north which sees 800 mm / 31 inches of rain annually.
  24. Describe the soil of the Coteaux du Giennois
    • The Cosne ("koon") fault divides the soils of the Coteaux du Giennois into 2 sections.
    • West/North (Gien): Flinty clays with pockets of chalk
    • East/South (Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire): Kimmeridgian with pockets of flint
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  25. Discuss Pouilly-Fumé (aka Blanc Fumé de Pouilly)
    • AOC: 1937
    • Départements: Nièvre
    • Location: 7 grape-growing villages, right bank of the Loire river; same as Pouilly-sur-Loire
    • Size: total: 1,600 ha/3,953 acres, vineyards: 1,300 ha/3,212 acres
    • Yield: 65 hl/ha, 4.6 tons/acre
    • Blend: 100% white: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
    • RS: max 4 g/L
    • Wines: pale to golden yellow, citrus, herbaceous, smoky aromas of gunflint
    • Release: Dec 15
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  26. Define Fumé
    • French for "smoked"
    • The wines of Pouilly were given this name because of the wine's smoky aromas of gunflint (some say because of the smoke-colored, grey blooom that appears on the fully ripe Sauvignon Blanc grapes)
  27. Distinguish Pouilly-Fumé and Pouilly-sur-Loire
    After the 1890s phylloxera epidemic, winegrowers replanted with Sauvignon Blanc and Chasselas. To maintain distinct identities for these wines a 1923 legal judgement specified Pouilly-Fumé be used for wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Pouilly-sur-Loire for wines from Chasselas. These designations remained intact with the creation of 2 separate AOCs in 1937.
  28. Describe Pouilly-Fumé soils
    • Terres blanches (40%): Kimmeridgian marls with small oyser fossils; low permeability, slow to warm; Center of AOC, especially Pouilly-sur-Loire and Saint-Andelain
    • Caillotes (40%): stony Portlandian/Oxfordian limestone; stony, warms quickly; eastern portion and west of Saint-Andelain
    • Silex (aka Chailloux, 15%): flint clays; low permeability; along Loire river in Tracy-sur-Loire
    • Sables (5%): sands; good drainage; southern portion around les Giararmes
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  29. Describe the impact of Pouilly-Fumé soils wine
    • Vineyards lie on the southwest perimeter of the Paris Basin with distinct soils due to multiple fault lines.
    • Terres blances: more powerful, round, and exoitic, need time to open
    • Caillotes: citrus, elegant, mature quickly
    • Silex (aka Chailloux): white flower and gunflint, minerality, crisp acidity, terrific in their youth but age quite well
  30. Describe the weather of Pouilly-Fumé
    • Temperate contenental
    • Temperatures regulated by the Loire river
    • Hills of Sancerre provide protection from westerly winds
  31. Describe Pouilly-Fumé vineyards
    • South of Coteaux du Giennois
    • East of Sancerre
    • 29 km / 12 miles along the right bank of the Loire
    • The Nohain, a small Loire tributary, crosses the northeastern corner
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  32. Discuss Pouilly-sur-Loire AOC
    • AOC: 1937
    • Départements: Nièvre
    • Location: 7 grape-growing villages, right bank of the Loire river; same as Pouilly-Fumé
    • Size: vineyards: 27 ha/68 acres; lower in elevation than for Sauvignon Blanc (Pouilly-Fumé) and have sandy, siliceous soils
    • Yield: 65 hl/ha, 4.6 tons/acre
    • Blend: 100% white: 100% Chasselas
    • RS: max 4 g/L
    • Wines: light yellow with white flowers and dried fruit
    • Release: Dec 15
  33. T or F? Pouilly-sur-Loire farmers sold their grapes as dessert in the 1860s
    True: Table grapes served as dessert was culinary fashion in Paris in the 1860s. Chasselas sold as table grapes was more profitable than making wine. The trend receded by the 20th century.
  34. Discuss Sancerre AOC
    • AOC: white: 1936; red/rosé: 1959
    • Départements: Cher
    • Location: 14 villages, left bank of the Loire river
    • Size: total: 3,600 ha/8,96 acres, vineyards: 3,000 ha/7,413 acres
    • Yield: white: 65 hl/ha, 4.6 tons/acre; rosé: 63 hl/ha, 4.5 tons/acre; red: 59 hl/ha, 4.2 tons/acre
    • Blend: white: 100% Sauvignon Blanc; rosé: 100% Pinot Noir; red: 100% Pinot Noir
    • RS: white/rosé: max 4 g/L; red: max 2.5 g/L
    • Wines: 80% white: terres blanches: round, age well, caillotes: peach, early maturing, silex: gunflint aromas, early maturing; 10% rosé: direct press preferred, strawberries and raspberries; 10% red: ruby, cherry, medium-bodied
    • Release: white/rosé: Dec 15, red: March 15
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  35. Discuss Menetou-Salon AOC
    • AOC: 1959
    • Départements: Cher
    • Location: 10 villages, between the Cher and Loire rivers; stretches 25 km/15.5 miles from Bourges to Montigny (in Sancerre); separated from Sancerre by the Sauldre river, a Cher tributary
    • Size: total: 1,100 ha/2,718 acres, vineyards: 560 ha/1,384 acres
    • Yield:white: 65 hl/ha, 4.6 tons/acre; 
    • Blend: white: 100% Sauvignon Blanc; rosé: 100% Pinot Noir; red: 100% Pinot Noir
    • RS: white/rosé: max 4 g/L, red: max 2.5 g/L
    • Wines: 66% white: yellow to goden, medium-bodied, refreshing acidity, cirtrus, floral, musk, menthol; 30% red: cherry and plum, silky tannins; 4% rosé: candy-pink to partridge-eye, balanced, tart, stone-fruit, taut acidity
    • Release: white/rosé: Dec 15, red: March 15
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  36. Describe the climate of Sancerre and Menetou-Salon
    They both have a continental climate but Menetou-Salon is flatter, resulting in less favorable conditions. Menetou-Salon vineyards are exposed to southwest wines and spring frosts are an annual threat.
  37. T or F? Grapevines have been cultivated in Menetou-Salon since the 13th century
    False: Since at least the 11th century; Charles VII (1403-1461) took an interest in the vineyards
  38. T or F? Menetou-Salon and Sancerre are sister cities
    True: they share similar terroir and grow the same grape varieties
  39. T or F? All 10 villages where grapes are grown may appear on the label of Menetou-Salon wines
    True: However, Morogues, Parassy, and Saint-Céols are most common as they are considered the best due to their higher elevation
  40. Discuss Quincy AOC
    • AOC: 1936
    • Départements: Cher, Indre
    • Location: 2 villages, mostly left bank of the Cher river (Vilallin on the right bank)
    • Size: total: 7600 ha/1,729 acres, vineyards: 290 ha/716 acres, <2 ha planted to Sauvignon Gris
    • Yield: 65 hl/ha, 4.6 tons/acre
    • Blend: white: usually 100% Sauvignon Blanc, max 10% Sauvignon Gris
    • RS: max 4 g/L
    • Wines: 100% white: grapefruit, melon, peach, balanced by herbal notes and minerality, light-bodied
    • Release: Dec 15
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  41. Describe the vineyards and soils of Quincy
    • Eastward-tilting plateau borded y forest to the north and east
    • Topsoils: sandy gravels, sands, silty sands.
    • Subsoils: chalky lake deposits (66-2.6 mya)
  42. Describe the history of Quincy
    • Began with Celtric tribe called Bituriges Cubi.
    • Some scholars say this tribe introduced grapes to the Bituriges Vivisci, a tribe from Bordeaux.
  43. Who introduced Sauvignon Blanc to Quincy?
    The Cistercian monks of the Beauvoir Abbey near Bourges
  44. Describe the Quincy climate
    Semi-continental as it does receive some oceanic influence; Cher river regulates temperatures; summers are dry and hot; spring frosts problematic
  45. T or F? Quincy wines were widely recognized during the Middle Ages
    True: Thriving industry for centuries
  46. What was the impact of phylloxera on Quincy?
    Producers formed a syndicate to rebuild decimated vineyards and focus on quality; it was the Loire Valley's first AOC
  47. What was the result of WWII on Quincy?
    A period of stagnation and contraction due to migration of young people to the big cities; rebirth in the 1980s
  48. Discuss Reuilly AOC
    • AOC: white: 1937, rosé/red: 1961
    • Départements: Cher, Indre
    • Location: 6 villages, both banks of the Théols and Arnon rivers and a bit on the left bank of the Cher river
    • Size: total: 600 ha/1,482 acres, vineyards: 240 ha/593 acres
    • Yield: white: 65 hl/ha, 4.6 tons/acre; rosé: 63 hl/ha, 4.5 tones/acres; red: 59 hl/ha, 4.2 tons/acre
    • Blend: white: 100% Sauvignon Blanc; rosé: any mix of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir
    • ; red: 100% Pinot Noir
    • RS: white/rosé: max 4 g/L, red: max 2.5 g/L
    • Wines: 50% white: pale yellow, dry and fruity, citrus, foral, herbal, refreshing acidity; 25% rosé: saignée or diret press, pale; 25% red: cherry, raspberry, pepper, light color and body
    • Release: white/rosé: Dec 15, red: March 15
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  49. Describe the history of Reuilly wine
    • Since the 7th century or before.
    • King Dagobert (603-639) gave land to the Abbey of Saint Denis in the village of Reuilly.
    • The Cistercian monks (the "White Monks" formed in 1098) of Beauvoir Abbey first planted Sauvignon Blanc in the 13th century.
  50. T or F? Reuilly is a non-continuous AOC
    Image Upload 13 True: most vineyards around the Arnon river on south/southeast facing slopes on shallow Kimmeridgian soil or terraces of brown sand gravels; Preuilly is on the left bank of the Cher river on lacustrine limestones

  51. T or F? Reuilly's vineyards nearly disappeard after phylloxera
    • True: several decades passed before the area was replanted
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  52. Discuss Reuilly climate
    • Semi-continental with some oceanic infuence.
    • One of the driest areas of the Centre-Loire, first to harvest (usually Pinot Gris)
  53. Discuss Châteaumeillant AOC
    • AOC: 2010, VDQS: 1965
    • Départements: Cher, Indre
    • Location: 7 villages, between the Indre and Cher rivers
    • Size: total: 486 ha/1,201 acres, vineyards: 80 ha/198 acres, 75% planted to Gamay
    • Yield: 55 hl/ha, 3.9 tons/acre
    • Blend: red: min 60% Gamay, max 40% Pinot Noir; 20% rosé: direct press, min 60% Gamay, max 15% Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir permitted
    • RS: red: max 2 g/L; rosé 3 g/L
    • Wines: red: ruby-garnet, raspberries, strawberries, supple tannins, minerality and pepper; 20% rosé: citrus and stone with bright acidity
    • Release: Dec 15
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  54. What was Châteaumeillant called in the Middle Ages?
    Mediolanum, meaning middle town, referencing the village's central position in France; 8 Roman roads passed by Mediolanum
  55. Describe Châteaumeillant soils
    • Châteaumeillant lies at the junction of the Paris Basin and the Massif Central.
    • Vineyards are sandy clays and flint atop metamorphic subsoils of sandstone, gneiss, mica schist
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  56. Describe Châteaumeillant climate
    Continental; cold winds blow from the Massif Central and landscape is open towards the Atlantic Ocean; the last vineyards to be harvested in the Centre-Loire
  57. T or F? Châteaumeillant is the smallest and southernmost of the Centre-Loire AOCs
  58. Describe the history of Châteaumeillant
    • Grapes growing as early as the 6th century
    • Gamay did not arriver until the end of the 18th century
    • After WWII producers established a cooperative
  59. What agricultural products other than grapes is Châteaumeillant known for?
    Charolais beef and cereal crops
  60. Contrast Centre-Loire AOCs
    • Quincy: white wines; mostly left bank of the Loire river; planted on a plateau
    • Châtauxmeillant: rosé and red wines; between Cher and Indre rivers; junction of Paris Basin and Massif Central
    • Reuilly: white, rosé and red wines; both banks of Théols and Arnon rivers; non-contiguous
Card Set
Ch 6 The Center-Loire
Wine Scholar Guild Loire Master Level Program