stretches over 128 villages in the Maine-et-Loire department, 14 in Deux-Sèvres, and 9 in Vienne. This regional appellation, which was established on December 31st, 1957, comprises many sub-regional and village appellations.
The vineyards of Anjou cover 1,100 hectares (2,718 acres) divided into two distinct zones: bordering the southwest edge of the Armorican Massif is “Anjou noir” or black Anjou, with dark schist soils; the much smaller “Anjou blanc” or white Anjou sits on white soils created by the weathering of chalk (tufa) in the extreme southwest of the Paris Basin. The temperate oceanic climate here is rather dry, and temperatures are moderate.
Anjou is made from Chenin, which accounts for at least 80% of a blend, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, which gives the wines a deep golden-yellow color. Most wines produced here reach their peak within two or three years. Reminiscent of spring, they are fresh, aromatic, and floral. Some of them are surprisingly rich and opulently mineral, as in the cuvées offered by Château de la Roulerie and Château de la Guimonière.
A selection of the best terroirs within the Anjou AOC, Anjou Villages
extends into 43 villages in Maine-et-Loire and 3 in Deux-Sèvres. This appellation zone encompasses the appellations of Coteaux du Layon, Anjou Coteaux de la Loire, and Savennières. The appellation Anjou Villages was established on October 14th, 1987.
Anjou Villages wines are made from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives them a deep ruby color. Most of them reach peak maturity after eight to ten years of aging. Deep, intense, structured, and fleshy, they perfectly convey the character of the two Cabernets grown on schist soils. Some of the best Anjou Villages are made by Château Princé and Château de Fesles.