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.
From west to east, what are the 4 major subregions of the Loire Valley?
- Central Vineyards
What is the IGP in the Loire that covers the entire region?
Val de Loire IGP
Crémant de Loire production primarily takes place in which Loire Valley subregion?
What grape is traditionally used?
Grape: Chenin Blanc
Fun Fact: Crémant de Loire is made using Traditional Method
How do the climates of Pays Nantais and Central Vineyards differ?
The climate in Nantais is Maritime.
The climate in Central Valley is Continental.
The Mauges Hills protect which subregion in the Loire Valley?
Which Loire subregion has pockets of stony soils and is warm and dry despite its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean?
Which Loire subregion, despite being further inland, has a cooler + wetter climate than Anjou?
(Hint: it also has a lot of clay soils)
What is a common weather threat in the Loire Valley?
High levels of rainfall, which makes fungal pressure high.
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.
The vineyards in the Loire Valley with the most advantageous positions are:
- South facing (to maximize sun exposure)
- Mid-slope (for best drainage)
- Face the Loire River (reflected light and warmth)
What are the 4 predominant grape varieties of the Loire Valley and their areas of production?
- Melon de Bourgogne/Melon Blanc: Nantais
- Chenin Blanc: Anjou + Touraine
- Cabernet Franc: Anjou + Touraine
- Sauvignon Blanc: Central Vineyards + Touraine
Name some of the black grapes grown in the Loire Valley.
- Cabernet Franc
- Pinot Noir
What are the Loire Valley's 4 most eminent appellations growing Sauvignon Blanc?
What are differences or similarities between Muscadet and Melon de Bourgogne/Melon Blanc?
Muscadet is an AOP in the Loire Valley that only makes dry white wines.
Melon de Bourgogne/Melon Blanc is the grape variety that goes into Muscadet AOP.
In Muscadet, if a wine has been enriched then the maximum permitted alcohol level is __%.
All wines from the appellations in Muscadet have:
a) Low alcohol
b) Medium alcohol
c) High alcohol
All wines from the appellations in Muscadet are:
What is a synonym for Melon de Bourgogne?
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."
- Must be aged on its fine lees until the spring the year following harvest;
- Lees give a bit of texture and a slight yeasty flavor to the wine.
The Nantais subregion produces mainly __(1)__wine from the __(2)__ grape variety.
- Bone dry white wine
- Melon de Bourgogne grape variety
Wines from Rosé de Loire AOP are:
- dry, off-dry, or sweet?
- made from which grapes?
- mostly produced where?
- Always dry;
- A range of of grapes including Cab Sauvignon and/or Cab Franc;
- Mostly produced in Anjou.
Which is the predominant grape in Rosé d'Anjou?
It is usually blended with local grapes like Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Côt, Gamay, Pineau d'Aunis.
What style of wine is produced in Cabernet d'Anjou AOP?
Still, medium-sweet rosés made from Cabernet Franc + Cabernet Sauvignon.
Fun Fact: They must have minimum 10 g/L of residual sugar.
Of the still rosés produced in Anjou-Saumur, which one is the highest quality?
Rosés in the Loire Valley are made by using either of these techniques:
- Direct pressing
- Short skin maceration
What is the most widely grown white grape of the Touraine and Anjou subregions?
It can be made into sparkling and still wines, from dry to sweet.
What is the primary grape variety used for sweet wine in the Loire Valley?
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 dry and full bodied?:
- Savennières AOP
- Coteaux du Layon AOP
What style of wine is Coteaux du Layon?
Sweet wine made from botrytized Chenin Blanc
Is Coteaux du Layon on the north or south side of the Loire River?
What develops well here?
South side, where botrytis develops well.
Where is Quarts de Chaume located within the Loire Valley, and what style of wine does it make?
Within the borders of Coteaux du Layon AOP (Anjou subregion).
It makes only sweet wines made from Chenin Blanc.
Where is Bonnezeaux AOP located and what is it known for?
Located within the Anjou subregion and is known for sweet white wines made from Chenin Blanc.
What appellations in Loire are known for red wine made from Cabernet Franc?
- Chinon (Touraine)
- Bourgueil (Touraine)
- Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil (Touraine)
- Saumur-Champigny (Saumur)
What is the grape in Vouvray AOP?
Vouvray makes both __ and __ wines.
Still and sparkling
The soils in Vouvray are ___ based.
Still wines in Vouvray range from:
- dry to off-dry
- dry to medium-sweet
- dry to luscious
Dry to luscious
Vouvray wines are:
- rarely fermented or matured in new oak
- often fermented or matured in new oak
Rarely fermented or matured in new oak
Chenin Blancs from Anjou AOP are generally, but not always:
- matured in new oak
- matured in cement
- matured in stainless steel
Matured in new oak
How does the climate influence the style of the wine in Vouvray AOP?
While Vouvray has a 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.
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 the most important AOPs of the Central Vineyards in the Loire Valley from west to east.
From west to east:
What are the weather threats in the Central Vineyards?
- Spring frosts
- Summer hail
What is the principal white grape varietal in the Central Vineyards?
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 a famous village in Sancerre.
Name the most famous vineyard in Sancerre.
Les Monts Damnés
What is the main soil type in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé?
Chalky, stony, well drained soil
What are some of the winemaking vessels used in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé?
- Stainless steel (for fresh, fruity style)
- Old oak
- New oak (used by a few)
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.
What is the second-most planted red grape in the Loire Valley?
What is a quirky trait of Chenin Blanc?
Its berries ripen at different rates even within the same bunch.
This is why producers will have to make several passes in the vineyard so they harvest grapes at the correct ripeness.
Why is Cab Franc well suited for the Loire Valley?
It flowers early and ripens early (so it can be picked before autumn rains)
Cab Franc grown in Touraine (Chinon, Bourgueil) generally comes in two different styles depending on the soils.
What are the soils and what are the styles?
- Sandy soils = light, fruity, early-drinking reds
- Limestone/clay soils = full-bodied, tannic styles from south-facing slopes
Cab Franc from Saumur-Champigny tends to be:
- lighter in body + tannin
- fuller in body + tannin
than Cab Francs from Touraine.
Lighter in body + tannin