Wine growing developed in the area around the Abbey of Bourgueil, founded in 990. The Breton grape variety, Cabernet Franc, made its appearance in 1152, thanks to the political union of Anjou and Aquitaine. The Bourgueil AOC
was classified by decree of 31 July, 1937.
The Bourgueil appellation area extends over 7 communes, covering approximately 1,400 hectares on the right bank of the Loire, west of Tours. Half of the vineyards extend across a hillside overlooking the Loire where the soil is tufa limestone (Turonian chalk); the other half rest on sand and gravel (ancient Loire alluvium) terraces. The slopes are gentle and the landscape, with its multiple parcels, resembles a mosaic. The Bourgueil vineyards are widely exposed to the Loire River, and the Atlantic influences travelling up the valley can be clearly felt. The south-facing slope and the wood-covered plateau protect the terrace from the north wind. The microclimate here is mild and temperate. Domaine Yannick Amirault, Domaine de la Butte and Domaine de La Chevalerie produce wines that elegantly reflect the character of the Bourgueil terroir.
The annual production of wine from Bourgueil is about 70,000 hectolitres of which 2% is rosé. The Cabernet Franc is virtually the only grape variety grown (Cabernet Sauvignon is only permitted up to a maximum of 10% of the plantings). The yields are tightly controlled by an independent body and there is a real risk that parcels whose yields are too high will be declassified. Fresh and fruity, or well-structured and powerful, the two different Bourgueil personalities reflect the two main terroirs in the glass. The wines from the gravel soil mature quickly (2-4 years), while the limestone wines only begin to express their complexity after 5 years' ageing.
More informations on the website of the wines of Bourgueil