Brittany Wine Region

Brittany Wines are on its Way Back!

Brittany, which is on the north-western side of France, is famous as a cultural region.

In the French language, this region is referred as Bretagne and in other terms, this is also called as Little Britain.

Bordered by the English Channel, the Celtic Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Bay of Biscay on its four sides, this region is having a rich history of vine cultivation and winemaking.

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Although this region is no longer an official wine region of the country the region is believed to be on its way back to winemaking by reviving the viticulture through recreational vineyards.

Let’s see about the viticulture in Brittany here…

A Look at the Wines of Brittany

One will not find any vineyards in this region until he/she reaches the southernmost part of the Loire River.

This is where the small region called Nantes is located.

This can be called as the most important region for wines in Brittany because the most popular wine varietal of the region called Muscadet is found to be produced here.

The Nantes region is having almost 12,000 acres of land under Muscadet vine cultivation.

Apart from Muscadet, we can find several appellations having originated from some of the unique varietals like Merlot and Gros plants.

In general, the major part of Brittany wines is being made using Muscadet and Gros plants as the base.

Understanding the Brittany’s Muscadet

The history of Muscadet in Brittany is dated back to the seventeenth century when it was first introduced by Dutch merchants in Pays de la Loire.

The present day Muscadet vineyard is seen stretching from the coast to the inlands. The best examples of Muscadet can be seen in the regions of Sevre et Maine

This is one of three regions that are allowed to produce Sur Lie wines.

The other types of wines that are produced here are:

  • Cotes de Grandlieu
  • Coteaux de la Loire

Read more about Wines from Brittany Wine Region

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Sur Lie Winemaking

The Sur Lie winemaking process involves the aging of wines over the winter seasons on the sediments of yeast which are generally referred to as the lees.

This is because of this reason this winemaking process is called as On the Lees. In general, the aging will be carried in the barrels or fermentation tanks.

Liqueur de Pomme de Bretagne

Liqueur de Pomme
de Bretagne

The aged wines will then be bottled directly from the fermentation tanks without filtering.

The Muscadet wines thus produced will be lighter, fresher, and fruitier white wines and will be a perfect combination with any seafood dish.

The Sur Lie wines that are produced using the above-mentioned process would give you a mild bready and yeasty flavour along with the crisp acidity thus giving a complexity to the wine.

Also, these wines are found to have a reasonably lower alcohol content of about 11.5% which is found to be a widely developing trend today.

About the Gros Plant Wines

This varietal of wine grape that is being cultivated in the viticulturally district of Nantes is producing a drier, tangier wine under the appellation called Gros Plant du Pays Nantais.

The wines that are produced from Gros plants will be very sour with high levels of acidity.

This wine varietal was provided with its own appellation during the year 1954 and then got promoted to AOC recently.

With the aim of enhancing the flavour and texture of these wines, several of the Gros plant wines are aged using the Sur Lie method for a longer time during the winters.

Thus produced wines are sold using the name Gros Plant du Pays Nantais Sur Lie.

Other Wine Grapes in Brittany

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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2 Comments

  1. Wes McDavid

    This article does not DESCRIBE the wines. I’m trying to re-member a wine I had in the very NW tip of Bretagne in 1966. I think the name started with M (No, it was not Muscadet.) It has a FLINTY taste; dry white which goes VERY well with lobster and other seafood. ????

    Reply
    • Michael Bredahl

      Hi Wes,

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know the answer for this, but if anyone else does, please feel free to let me know, thanks

      /Michael

      Reply

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