There’s never been a better time to get a fresh perspective on the wines of Centre-Loire. With its centuries-long tradition of winemaking, coupled with new energy in the region, it is a winemaking area in its prime.
Centre-Loire is comprised of ten appellations, each with its own unique personality. However, certain commonalities tie these places together, namely their ability to produce wines with abundant freshness and purity. In many of the appellations, limestone—which provides a vibrant minerality—layers with clay and sandy soils. Beautiful acidity develops due to the cool climate and diurnal swings in the growing season. No matter the variety—Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Pinot Gris, Chasselas, or Chardonnay—wines showcase the energy imparted by Centre-Loire’s terroir.
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Centre-Loire’s territories played important roles in the development of winemaking throughout the world. Seeds dating all the way back to the 2nd century were discovered in Coteaux du Giennois, and wines from throughout the Centre-Loire region graced the tables at Royal Courts. Centre-Loire’s proximity to the Loire River allowed for the exportation of these high-quality wines, which not only brought fame and acclaim, but showed other winemaking regions in Europe what was possible. In modern times, Quincy holds the honor of being recognized as only the second appellation in all of France—following Châteauneuf-du-Pape—to receive AOC status.
It is through the passion and talents of the grape growers and winemakers that Centre-Loire wines showcase a purity and finesse that is the benchmark of the region. AOCs like Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé continue to intrigue drinkers with their singular, distinctive takes on Sauvignon Blanc. Elsewhere, places like Coteaux de Tannay and Côtes de la Charité are in the midst of a renaissance and awaiting AOC status. The winemakers’ dedication to the terroir, and to their legacy, shows in these striking wines — an authentic expression of place.
You’re invited to learn more about the Centre-Loire and its 10 appellations in“The Fresh Series.” Below, take a deep dive into what’s behind these elegant wines, and the elements which make each appellation a marquee place for fresh and exciting whites, red, and rosés.
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