Saint Martin of Tours founded the famous Abbey of Marmoutier, and legend has it that he also planted the first vineyards in the area and introduced the vine training method still used today in Vouvray
. Lying outside the city of Tours, this appellation extends across seven villages on the right bank of the Loire River and along its tributary the Brenne. The appellation of Vouvray
was established on December 8th, 1936.
The vineyards of Vouvray cover 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) that produce 120,000 hectoliters annually. Sparkling wine accounts for 65% of production. The vineyard slopes are intersected by small valleys, and the stony soils lie on a bedrock of tufa (Turonian white chalk) and are covered by perruche (clayey silex soils that confer great minerality on the wines grown here) and aubuis (clay-limestone soils that give powerful sweet wines). At the edges of the intersecting valleys, the soil heats up quickly thanks to the oceanic influence on this microclimate. Very sunny autumns favor full ripening and even noble rot. The character of each vintage determines whether there will be off-dry “tendre,” semi-sweet, and/or dessert wines. But great dry whites are produced in every vintage.
Some of the most masterful Vouvrays are crafted by producers like Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Domaine Huet, Domaine François Chidaine, Clos Naudin, and Domaine Vincent Carême.
Sweet and dry, sparkling and still, the wines of Vouvray are remarkably diverse. Made exclusively from Chenin Blanc (aka Pineau de la Loire), they are always delightful when young, with notes of acacia, rose, citrus, and, in the sparkling wines, brioche. With age they develop aromas of jammy apricot, quince, and floral honey. They may be more or less full and opulent, but they are always quite fresh. The dry wines are rich and distinctive. Vouvray has great aging potential (10 to 40 years), which the locals capitalize on by storing them in the cellars that are dug deep into the chalk hillsides here.
More informations on the website of the wines of Vouvray