Loire Valley Pt 1 - Introduction and Viticultural History Flashcards

1
Q

Why is Loire Valley so diverse?

A

It has a large growing area with a climate ranging from maritime in the west (Pays Nantais) to continental in the east in Central and Upper Loire. It has a range of soilsand topography which allows a range of grapes to be grown and different styles of wine to be produced.

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2
Q

What types of wine are made in the Loire Valley?

A

Red and white, Rose, dry, sweet and sparkling

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3
Q

What are the 5 main regions in Loire Valley? Are they AOCs?

A

Pays Nantais, Anjou-Samur, Touraine, Central Vineyards, Upper Loire
No they are not Appellations

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4
Q

How does Loire Valley compare to other regions in production terms?

A

It is the :
1. largest producer of white wine;
2. 2nd largest sparkling wine producer;
3. 3rd largest producer of AOC wines.

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5
Q

Who brought organised viticulture to the Loire and when?

A

The Romans circa 1 CE.

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6
Q

How did the Loire contribute to the wine industry in Loire in the early centuries?

A

It provided river traffic which ensured the wines’ commercial success.

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7
Q

Why did Loire wines become popular in England in 12th century?

A

The marriage of Henry Plantagenet to Eleanor of Aquitaine included a large part of Loire Valley. This meant the English imported a lot of it’s wine for the next 300 years.

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8
Q

Which City in Loire did Joan of Arc persuade Charles VII to accept the French crown and challenge English rule?

A

Chinon in 1429.

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9
Q

What decree in 1577 significantly increased the number of vineyards in the Loire region?

A

The Parliament of Paris decreed that all wine must be purchased more than 20 leagues outside the city. The demand led to an increase in vineyards around Orleans, Blois and Touraine.

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10
Q

What did Dutch traders convince the vignerons of the Loire to do in the 1600’s?

A

To plant more white cultivars such as Folle Blanche.

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11
Q

Why did Dutch traders want more white grapes to be planted in the Loire Valley?

A

They needed them for production of Brandewijn, which they distilled from these grapes and sold across N. Europe.

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12
Q

What impact did the French Revolution have on the Loire Valley wine industry?

A

Those around Nantes and Angers were particularly hard hit by the Vendee wars.

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13
Q

What positive impact did the French Revolution have on the Loire Valley wine industry?

A

The fighting slowed the move towards everyday wines caused by increasing demand from Paris and the industrial revolution. Instead they focussed on quality wines.

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14
Q

How did the development of the railways influence winemaking in Loire in the 19th Century?

A

They were now in direct competition with the wines from the South of France and focussed more on quality.

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15
Q

What varieties did Loire vignerons plant after Phylloxera?

A

They refocussed on Melon de Bourgogne, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.

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16
Q

What area is under vine in the Loire Valley? How is production split?

A

140,000 acres/57,000 ha.
White - 44%;
Rose - 25%;
Red - 18%;
Sparkling 13%.

17
Q

What kind of boats were used to transport wine in the past? Why?

A

Flat-bottomed boats called ‘gabarres”. The river name comes from the Latin for silt/sediment and the river was unpassable at times of low water due to this feature.

18
Q

If you see Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume or Menetou-salon on a label what grape is used?

A

Sauvignon Blanc

19
Q

What flavours will you find in cool climate and warm climate SB?

A

Cool (eg Loire Valley) Green fruit (apple), Herbaceous (Cut grass, asparagus) wet stones, citrus
Warm : Lemon, Passion fruit, gooseberry

20
Q

Are SB wines typically more or less acidic?

A

More

21
Q

Pouilly-Fume tasting notes

A

Pale straw
Dry, high acidity
Very aromatic grape
Citrus peel, gooseberry, grapefruit, grass, wet stones
Subtle smokey notes
Minerality from the soil and stones (Silex)

22
Q

What is considered the “goldilocks” area of the LV and what does it mean?

A

Middle Loire as it enjoys some warmth in Anjou due to the Mauges Hills protection

23
Q

Which grapes match with what region of LV?
Pays Nantais, Central, Anjou, Touraine?
Sauvignon Blanc, Melon de Blanc/Bourgogne, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc

A

Pays de Nantais - Melon de Bourgogne
Central : Sauv Blanc
Touraine : Sauv Blanc
Anjou : Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc

24
Q

Chenin Blanc (Savenniere) tasting notes?

A

Golden colour
Dry,high acidity
Green fruit (apple), Stone fruit (peach/apricot), Tropical (pineapple)
Bottle aging - honey/ Dried fruits/candle wax
Can be dry to sweet
Not as aromatic as Sauv. Blanc
Oaked or unoaked

25
Q

If you see Chinon, Samur-Champigny or Bourgeuil on a label which grape is used?

A

Cabernet Franc

26
Q

Cabernet Franc tasting notes

A

Mainly low tannin, light and juicy red berry fruits. Best drank young.

27
Q

If you see Coteaux du Layon, Chaumes or Quarts de Chaume on a label what type of wine is it? Which grape? How is sweetness obtained?

A

Sweet white Chenin from noble rot.

28
Q

What conditions are ideal for noble rot?

A

Morning mist/fog and warm dry afternoon

29
Q

What are two types of sweet wine from LV.

A

Chenin Blanc and Noble rot sweet wines

30
Q

Sancerre typical tasting notes:

A

Pale lemon colour
Dry
High acidity
Aromas: green apple, citrus, grassy, gooseberry
Taste : as above with minerality ( flinty from the soils and rocks)

31
Q

Which grapes are used in Rose D’Anjou?

A

Grolleau with Cab Franc and other local varieties eg Gamay

32
Q

Which grapes are used in Cabernet D’Anjou?

A

Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend - always medium-sweet

33
Q

What is only grape permitted in Sancerre Rose?

A

Pinot Noir 100%