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Sancerre Appellation, France

Sancerre Wine Region of France

Sancerre wines are a very popular French wine variety, noted for its fruity flavours that resemble a mixture of light strawberry and raspberry flavours.

Sancerre wines owe their name to the region itself, the Sancerre region of France, located south of Paris, at the middle of France.

The region is hilly or plateau and its valleys house the Sancerre wines.

Sancerre

Sancerre Wine Region of France

Sancerre wines are a very popular French wine variety, noted for its fruity flavours that resemble a mixture of light strawberry and raspberry flavours.

Sancerre wines owe their name to the region itself, the Sancerre region of France, located south of Paris, at the middle of France.

The region is hilly or plateau and its valleys house the Sancerre wines.

Wines
Vineyards
Wine grape varieties

Sancerre wines are an old variety, with some winemakers and historians tagging them as one of the oldest grown in France, due to their attestation to Roman times.

Since these are a popular old variety, a brief account on their origins and viticulture becomes necessary.

AOC regulations describes, that only Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir are permitted as AOC classified Sancerre wine, where Pinot Noir is 1/5 to 1/6 of the production.

Read more about Wines from Sancerre

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…

Vineyards in Sancerre, France

Currently there are no vineyards, but see other vineyards from France here:

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Origins of Sancerre wines

Sancerre wines are one of the oldest wines in France.

These are grown in the Sancerre region of France, that is a small tract of valleys and hills south of Paris and somewhat located at the middle of the European country.

One of the most popular vines grown in the Sancerre region is the Pinot vines.

These vines are said to be originally introduced by the Duchy of Burgundy.

Sancerre has ever since been a well administered area, near to the large settlements of Orleans and Bourges that acted as great supply points for the wines that have been developed in this region.

Sancerre wines have throughout time, seen much developments in their further growth.

In the 19th century, the phylloxera epidemic swept through this region, leaving behind barren fields that once were filled by vines.

Some of the endangered grapes that were grown here found their new homelands in America where vines like the Gamay got lost.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the region again regained its reputation of growing quality vines and now are supplied throughout France and beyond as Sancerre wines.

The Wines of Sancerre

Sancerre is a region that specialises in wine production. When we speak of ‘Sancerre wines’, then we refer to a collection of wines that are produced in this region.

Three villages – Bue, Chavignol and Menetroul-sous-Sancerre deserve limelight since most of the Sancerre wines are produced in these villages.

All the three villages have been offering soil types.

The classic profile as described by winemakers like Tom Stevenson, comprises of a very dry and highly aromatic experience of Sancerre wines.

Technology has played its role. Several production techniques have led to several wines like Sauvignon de Touraine and have become popular.

Around the village of Bue, full vines are to be seen because of the soil type that is more clay.

Chavignol has limestone-gravel soil that produce fragrant vines and Menetrou-sous-Sancerre has that flint deposit that makes strong flavoured, mineral tasting vines.

These three villages have been termed as the ‘crus’ of France because of the high quality wines produced here.

Since each vine has its land of origin, you will see several restaurants selling wines from this region that have their village of origin printed on their bottles.

Viticulture and other uses

Like all other vines that require a hot, dry climate, Sancerre vines require the same.

Several grapes like Sauvignon blanc go waste during erratic climatic conditions, especially springtime frosts that makes vines dull and unripe resulting in low quality yield.

However, for these reasons, winemakers possess unique skills and ways to counter weather threats.

Techniques like Guyot vine training stress on the canopy spread that affects the quality of vines produced.

During cold days, winemakers may need to pluck out some of the canopy to produce fruitier grapes.

To avoid an excessive fruity produce, the canopy needs to be expanded.

Till the early days of 20th century, most Sancerre was produced with little to no modification to its fermentation and oak processes.

However, in modern times, technology has made it possible for winemakers to produce more modified wines.

The age of vine also contributes to the beverage.

Pyrazine, a compound found in grape skins, breaks down with time during the fermentation process.

This compound contributes to strong flavours of Sancerre wines and modifying the ageing process might result in differing flavours.

Grapes that are harvested early will give grassier flavours while riper grapes will give a fruitier flavour.

Location also matters since regions that get more sunlight will have riper grapes than those that do not receive a direct sunlight. In such a case, timing becomes important.

Read also about other Wine Regions

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