> IGP Loire Valley
IGP Loire Valley
Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) since August 2009
Production of Loire Valley IGP wines is permitted across 14 Departments in the Loire Valley winegrowing region, namely Loire Atlantique, Vendée, Maine-et-Loire, Deux- Sèvres, Sarthe, Indre-et-Loire, Vienne, Loir- et-Cher, Indre, Loiret, Cher, Nièvre, Allier and Puy de Dôme.
Regulations specify that the following geographical names may be added to the Loire Valley IGP descriptor where applicable: Allier, Cher, Indre, Indre-et- Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loire-Atlantique, Loiret, Maine-et-Loire, Nièvre, Sarthe, Vendée, Vienne, Marches de Bretagne and Pays de Retz.
The Vins de Pays classification came into being in 1968; on 16th November a new name was created for designated wines made in the Loire Valley – Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France. A further decree, dated 11th May 2007, replaced this name; wines were henceforth known as Vin de Pays de Val de Loire.
However, since August 2009, Vins de Pays wines have a new quality marker recognised at European level: Indication Géographique Protégée, or IGP (Protected Geographical Indication).
Although there are no legal barriers to its use, the Vin de Pays name is slowly disappearing as wines adopt the new Val de Loire IGP label.
Production of IGP wines is governed by French and EU regulations setting out production conditions. The rules are less stringent than AOC regulations, and give winemakers and négociants more flexibility to be creative and produce a range of distinctive wines.
The Loire and its tributaries flow through a variety of geological landscapes ranging from the Massif Armoricain in the Nantais and Anjou to the limestone of Saumur and Touraine and volcanic rock of Auvergne.
In general, the Loire climate is temperate, with oceanic influences in the Nantes and Anjou regions. In Touraine these influences gradually become more continental, so that by the time we reach Centre-Loire, the climate is semi- continental. Precipitation is even throughout the year (between 600 and 700 mm) and temperatures are mild, showing no extremes. Despite a very broad range of climate and soil conditions, the Loire Valley shows good degree of consistency by virtue of their northerly location.
Average annual production over the last 5 years: 243,000 hl.
White: 139,400 hl,
Red: 52,400 hl,
Rosé: 51,200 hl.
Maximum yield: 90 hl/ha.
Whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Grolleau Gris, Chenin, Pinot Gris, Folle Blanche, Melon, Orbois, Pinot Blanc, Sacy, Sauvignon Gris.
Reds and rosés: Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Grolleau noir, Grolleau Gris, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Pineau d’Aunis, Abouriou, Cabernet Sauvignon, Côt (or Malbec), Egiodola, Gamay de Bouze, Gamay de Chaudenay, Négrette.
These vary according to grape variety and region.
White wines are largely dry with a distinctive vibrancy and delicate floral and fruity flavors. Rosés are light, bright and refreshing, while reds can be light or robust in structure, but always with a distinctive suppleness.
There are three more IGPs covering a more limited geographical area; these are IGP Côtes de la Charité and Coteaux de Tannay in Nièvre, IGP Coteaux du Cher et de l’Arnon in Cher and Indre and one further IGP, IGP Calvados – in the same administrative area.