The dry white wines of Savennières
are grown in three villages (Savennières, Bouchemaine, and La Poissonnières) south of Angers, on the right bank of the Loire River. The marvelous production conditions here were probably identified during the first Roman invasions, winegrowing was developed in the Middle Ages under the great abbeys and sustained by local lords, then pursued in the 19th century by the middle class. The appellation was established on December 8th, 1952.
Savennières covers about 124 hectares (306 acres) of vineyards that lie on excellently exposed slopes that are perpendicular to the Loire River. The shallow soils are composed of gravelly schist, volcanic lodes (rhyolite), and Aeolian sand. The mesoclimatic influence of the Loire helps bring the grapes to peak maturity, and the vines are spared from the storms that generally stay on the left bank of the river.
Savennières wines are made from Chenin Blanc (also called Pineau de la Loire). They can age for at least five years, and wines from the best vintages may age for indefinite periods. Some of the best expressions of the terroir come from Domaine aux Moines, Château Pierre-Bise, and Château de Varennes.
There are two sub-appellations in Savennières: La Roche-aux-Moines and Coulée-de-Serrant. The Coulée-de-Serrant zone has been dedicated to vines ever since it was first planted in the 12th century by Cistercian monks. This exceptional terroir was recognized long ago, and its wines are the crème de la crème of the already highly respected Savennières appellation. Maurice Constantin Weyer and Alexandre Dumas wrote of it, and in the early 20th century Curnonsky, “the prince of gourmets,” ranked it as one of the best white wines in all of France. Today both La Roche-aux-Moines and Coulée-de-Serrant belong entirely to a single estate: Coulée de Serrant - Nicolas Joly.
More informations on the website of the wines of Savennières