The proximity of water has played an important role in the development of the Touraine
vineyards, as the numerous rivers provide transportation channels that facilitate export. The development of the vineyards reached its peak in the 19th century, when Touraine had been one of the main suppliers of wine to the French capital for a century. Since a period of crisis that lasted up until the Second World War, Touraine has been focused on the production of quality wines. The Touraine AOC
, granted by a decree of 24 December 1939, stretches from Anjou to the Sologne region, in an area where the Loire and its tributaries come together, and spans 104 communes in Indre-et-Loire and 42 in the Loir-et-Cher. Most of the vineyards are located southeast of Tours, on the slopes between the Cher and the Loire, and overlook the Cher.
The soils are very varied in nature, with "perruches" (flint clays), "aubuis" (clay-limestone on a chalk bed) and sand over clay to the east; as well as light gravel and “faluns” (sand). The climate has a maritime influence in the west, becoming more continental as you move east. These different climates, combined with varied soils, determine the choice of grape varieties (with later-ripening varieties to the west and earlier-ripening ones in the east) and therefore the wide variety of wines produced. With 4,400 hectares of vineyards, annual production is 240,000 hectolitres, of which about 38% is red, 42% is white, 12% is sparkling wine and 8% rosé. The Touraine reds are produced from Gamay (over 60% of the crop), Cabernet Franc, Côt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineau d'Aunis and Pinot Noir. The white Touraine wines use Sauvignon Blanc (nearly 80%) and Chenin Blanc, complemented by Chardonnay.
The wines of Touraine are aromatic. The Chenin Blanc is primarily destined for the sparkling wines in which it expresses delicate scents of brioche, green apple and honey. Gamay, often used as a single varietal, produces straightforward light wines with characteristic aromas of red fruit. The blended wines combine this fresh, youthful character with the structure provided by the other varieties. Classic blends create fresh, delicate rosé wines: the Pineau d'Aunis produces a rosé of character with a unique spicy tone. Most Touraine wines are at their best within 2 years. The well-structured reds develop nicely with 3-4 years' cellar-ageing. Among the many Touraine producers, we would single out Domaine Albane and Bertrand Minchin, Domaine Henry, Jean-Sebastien Marionnet and Domaine Charles Joguet.