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Flashcards in Loire Deck (56):

How do the climates of Pays Nantais and Central Vineyards differ?

The climate in Pays Nantais is Maritime.

The climate in Central Valley is Continental.


What is France's longest river?  In which direction does it flow?

The Loire River is France's longest river.

It flows from east to west, emptying in the Atlantic Ocean.


What are the benefits that vineyards gain from facing the Loire River?

The river will reflect light and warmth to vineyards facing it which help vineyards at this northerly latitude.


From west to east, what are the 4 major subregions of the Loire Valley?

  • Pays Nantais
  • Anjou-Saumur
  • Touraine
  • Central Vineyards


What are the 4 predominant grape varieties of the Loire Valley and their areas of production?

  • Melon de Bourgogne: Pays Nantais
  • Chenin Blanc: Anjou and Touraine
  • Cabernet Franc: Anjou and Touraine
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Central Vineyards


What are the black grapes of the Loire Valley?

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Gamay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Côt (Malbec)
  • Grolleau
  • Pineau d'Aunis



What are the Loire Valley's 4 most eminent appellations growing Sauvignon Blanc?

  1. Sancerre
  2. Pouilly-Fumé
  3. Menetou-Salon
  4. Touraine


What are differences or similarities between Melon de Bourgogne and Muscadet?

Muscadet is an AOP in the Loire Valley that only makes dry white wines.

Melon de Bourgogne is the grape variety that goes into Muscadet AOP.


What is the maximum abv % allowed for any Muscadet?

maximum 12% abv


What is a synonym for Melon de Bourgogne?

Melon Blanc


What does “Sur Lie” mean on a bottle of Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie?

Sur Lie is a French word meaning "on the lees."

  • The wine must be aged on its fine lees until at least March 1 the year following harvest;
  • Lees give a bit of texture and a slight yeasty flavor to the wine.


The Pays Nantais subregion produces mainly __(1)__wine from the __(2)__ grape variety.

  1. Bone dry white wine 
  2. Melon de Bourgogne grape variety


What is Saumur AOP famous for?

Saumur AOP is famous for traditional method sparkling wine, both blanc and rosé.

The primary grape used is Chenin Blanc, but other permissible grapes include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Grolleau, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.


What are some things to know about the Rosé de Loire AOP?

  • It is a generic appellation for dry rosé wines in the Loire Valley;
  • It must have a minimum 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc;
  • The majority of production takes place in Anjou.



Which is the predominant grape in Rosé d'Anjou?


It is usually blended with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Côt, Gamay, Pineau d'Aunis.


What style of wine is produced in Cabernet d'Anjou AOP?

Still, off-dry rosés produced from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

They must have minimum 10 g/L of residual sugar.



What is the most widely grown white grape of the Touraine and Anjou subregions?

Chenin Blanc

It can be made into sparkling and still wines, from dry to sweet.


What is another name for the Loire Valley?

Jardin de la France (Garden of France)


What is the primary grape variety used for sweet wine in the Loire Valley?

Chenin Blanc


What is another name for Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley?

Pineau de la Loire


Is Chenin Blanc an age-worthy wine?

Yes, Chenin Blanc is extremely age worthy.

All styles of Chenin Blanc can be aged for years or decades thanks to its natural high acidity and potential for flavor development.


Which wine is more likely to be dry: Savennières AOP or Coteaux du Layon AOP?

Savennières AOP

Coteaux du Layon is a late harvest sweet wine.


Where is Quarts de Chaume located within the Loire Valley?

Quarts de Chaume is within the borders of Coteaux du Layon AOP.  

It is a small area, only about 35 hectares, and it makes only sweet wines.


What harvest method is required in Coteaux du Layon AOP and Quarts de Chaume AOP?

Grapes must be hand harvested in tries successifs, or several passes, through the vineyards in order to pick at the desired ripeness level.



Who is Nicolas Joly?
Why is he so important for the Loire Valley?

Nicolas Joly is one of the biodynamic ambassadors in the Loire Valley who helped ignite the biodynamic movement within France.

He is the sole owner of Coulée de Serrant in Savennières.




Name the 2 unofficial grand crus of Savennières AOP (both of which were elevated to AOP status).

In what year were they elevated?


  1. Savennières Coulée de Serrant AOP
  2. Savennières Roche-aux-Moines AOP

Both were elevated in 2011.


Where is Bonnezeaux AOP located and what is it known for?

Bonnezeaux AOP is located within the Anjou region and is known for sweet white wines made from Chenin Blanc.

Its wines must have a minimum of 51 g/L residual sugar.


What style of wine is made in Saumur-Champigny AOP?

Name an iconic estate in this appellation.

Saumur-Champigny AOP makes still red wines based on Cabernet Franc.  Up to 15% Cabernet Sauvignon is permitted.

Clos Rougeard is an iconic estate in Saumur-Champigny AOP.


What are the 3 red wine only appellations in Anjou-Saumur?

  • Anjou-Villages AOP
  • Anjou Villages Brissac AOP
  • Saumur-Champigny AOP



What are the 3 appellations in Touraine known for red wine?

  • Chinon 
  • Bourgueil
  • Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil

All 3 are based on Cabernet Franc and allow up to max. 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.


What are the soil types of the Touraine region? 


Tuffeau: chalky soil

Alluvial and sandy soil: close to the river's banks


Name the most famous white wine appellation in Touraine based on Chenin Blanc.

Vouvray AOP

Vouvray produces mousseux (sparkling), still dry whites, semi-sweet and sweet wines.


What is the grape in Vouvray AOP?

Chenin Blanc

Up to 5% of Orbois can be blended in.


What is the main soil type in Vouvray AOP?


  • Soft limestone soil which allows for good drainage;
  • Ideal material in which to dig cellars.


How does the climate influence the style of the wine in Vouvray AOP? 

While Vouvray has a mid-Continental climate, it can receive strong Atlantic winds which affect the growing season and can cause vintage variation.

In cooler vintages, more sparkling wines will be made.

In warmer vintages with long/dry autumns, more still wines will be produced of varying sweetness levels.


What is a common weather threat in Touraine?

A lot of rain, which makes fungal pressure high.


Which appellation will have less concentration and display a generally uncomplicated, more fruit-driven style of Sauvignon Blanc: Sancerre or Touraine?


Touraine is a catch-all appellation that includes all of the Touraine appellations; it is not a specific, delimited appellation like Sancerre.  


Name some famous producers in Vouvray.

  • Domaine Huet
  • Philippe Foreau/Domaine du Clos Naudin
  • Vincent Carême
  • Champalou


What styles of wine can be produced in Vouvray and what are their permitted sweetness levels?


Sparkling and still white wines can be produced in Vouvray.

Sweetness levels

  • Sec - max. 8g/L residual sugar
  • Sec-Tendre - off-dry
  • Demi-Sec - medium-sweet
  • Moelleux - sweet
  • Liqueureux - luxuriously sweet


Name some famous producers in Montlouis.

  • Domaine de la Taille aux Loup
  • Domaine François Chidaine
  • Domaine Le Pigeonnier
  • La Grange Tiphane
  • Lise and Bertrand Jousset


Name some famous houses in Chinon.

  • Charles Joguet
  • Bernard Baudry
  • Olga Raffault
  • Catherine and Pierre Breton


Name some famous houses in Bourgueil.

  • Domaine de la Chevalière
  • Domaine de la Butte
  • Domaine de la Chanteleuserie
  • Domaine de la Noiraie
  • Catherine and Pierre Breton



Cour-Cheverny AOP uses a varietal you don't see anywhere else in France.  What is the varietal?

Cour-Cheverny is the only appellation to use the Romorantin variety.  

It is never blended with any other grape.


Name the most important AOPs of the Central Vineyards in the Loire Valley.

From west to east:

  • Reuilly
  • Quincy
  • Menetou-Salon
  • Sancerre
  • Pouilly-Fumé
  • Pouilly-sur-Loire


What are the weather threats in the Central Vineyards?

  • Spring frosts
  • Summer hail


What is the principal white grape varietal in the Central Vineyards?

Sauvignon Blanc


What styles of wine can be produced in Sancerre AOP?

Most Sancerre is still, dry white wine but reds and rosés are also made.

  • 100% Sauvignon Blanc for white
  • 100% Pinot Noir for red and rosé


Name some leading producers of Sancerre AOP.

  • Pascal Jolivet
  • Pascal Cotat
  • François Cotat
  • Domaine Vacheron
  • Lucien Crochet
  • Edmond Vatan
  • Serge Laloue


Name a famous village in Sancerre.



Name 2 famous vineyards in Sancerre.

  1. Les Monts Damnés
  2. Cul de Beaujeu


What are the 3 soil types in Sancerre?


  • flint

Terres Blanches

  • limestone


  • gravelly sand 



What are major differences between Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé?

The major differences are location, terroir and grapes grown:


  • Right bank of the Loire River;
  • Land is flatter than Sancerre;
  • Predominantly limestone and flint soils;
  • Produces white wine only from Sauvignon Blanc. 


  • Left bank of the Loire River;
  • Hilly area;
  • 3 main soils: Silex, Terres Blanches, Caillottes;
  • Produces whites, reds, rosés from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.



What is the major difference between Pouilly-Fumé AOP and Pouilly-sur-Loire AOP?

Pouilly-Fumé AOP is made from Sauvignon Blanc whereas Pouilly-sur-Loire AOP is made from Chasselas.


In what appellation are Didier Dagueneau and Alexandre Bain situated?


Didier Dagueneau was a pioneer of the biodynamic practices in the Central Vineyards.


Is Sancerre an age-worthy wine?

When is it best to drink them?

There are exceptions to every rule, but generally Sancerre is not particularly age worthy.  It is best drunk within 3 years of its harvest date.

The producers who have defied this rule and make age-worthy Sancerre include François Cotat, Domaine Vacheron, and Edmond Vatan.


Under what circumstances will Sauvignon Blanc undergo MLF?

In particularly cool vintages where the winemaker wants to balance or lower the acidity in their wines, or if the winemaker wants their style of Sauvignon Blanc to be broader with smoothed edges.