France: Loire Valley

Central Vineyards of the Loire

The wines of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and their neighbours
By Jim Budd

This Guide was last updated on 23 April 2011
To explore this Wine Travel Guide, select from the menu on the left

Main grape varieties


Pinot Noir
A long established variety in the region, Pinot Noir and Gamay used to dominate Sancerre before phylloxera. An early ripening variety Pinot suits the northerly climate of this part of the Loire and does particularly well on limestone soils. It is the main variety for red and rosé wines in the Central Vineyards producing mainly light and easy drinking wines, though some more serious examples can bear comparison with at least village Burgundy.

Much more common in Touraine, although before appellation rules some was planted in Sancerre. Now only found in Coteaux de Giennois (blended with Pinot Noir) and Châteaumeillant where it gives generally light, easy drinking reds best served cool.


Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon is the dominant variety in the Central Vineyards and the one that has both made its reputation and brought wealth over the last 40 years to a previously poor region of France. Although originally a Bordeaux variety, it is very well adapted to the semi-continental climate and soils of the region. In general, the wines give classic aromas and flavours of gooseberry, grapefruit and lemon.

Only found in Pouilly-sur-Loire it faces extinction here and it’s difficult to see why, apart from historical curiosity, it should be saved - only 35ha remain - at best here it only produces ‘pleasant enough’ wines.

Pinot Gris
Used to make a pale rosé in Reuilly, which is often called Vin Gris. However, Pinot Gris is now losing out to the more popular Pinot Noir.

Planted in the Coteaux Charitois mainly at Les Pénitents making attractive mid-weight wines. The amount of Chardonnay here is likely to decline as the major producer Domaine Mellot is keen to plant more Pinot Noir.

This information is provided free of charge, however it is strictly the copyright of Wine Travel Guides and its contributors. We try to do our best in keeping our guides and information up-to-date and accurate, but if you notice any mistakes, please contact us. Note that we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Thanks for your respect and understanding. For full details see our Terms and Conditions.

They have the professional look of the markings on a measuring instrument, as do the calibrations on the elapsed seconds scale. The replica watches uk function is well developed and includes a flyback mechanism, but the display for the ordinary rado replica sale of day predominates, thanks to appropriately proportioned, rhodium plated hands. These hands glow brightly when the lights go out, as do the hour numerals and the index dots. Some numerals are partially eclipsed, which detracts from the visual harmony but reinforces this replica watches retro character. The vintage aura is heightened by two tone subdials and the finely weathered strap made of Suportlo calfskin. This rolex replica uk repellent and extremely supple strap recalls the leather tie downs that were once used to secure the hoods of race cars. It a symbol, the brand says, of the passion with which replica watches uk manufactures mechanical wristwatches.