Touraine > Vouvray
AOP/AOC by decree dated 8th December 1936, amended 8th June 2011
Location: The appellation area begins at the eastern edge of the Tours conurbation and extends through 7 communes on the right bank of the Loire and along the Brenne, its tributary.
Vineyard Area: 2,210 ha.
History: The development of the vineyard is attributed to Saint Martin, founder of the famous Marmoutier Abbey, who, according to legend, introduced a number of varietals and a pruning system still in use today. Balzac left his mark on Vouvray when he chose it it as the setting for his novel “L’Illustre Godissart” (“The Illustrious Godissart”); a bust of this fictional travelling salesman is still found in one of the town’s squares.
Climate: Along the valleys, soils warm up quickly under the moderating influence of the ocean which tails of gradually as the Loire flows to the heart of the vineyards. Sunny autumns encourage over-ripening and noble rot. Demi-sec, sparkling and sweet production depends on variations in the weather, and vintage is a determining factor. Excellent dry Vouvray wines are produced every year.
Average annual production over the last 5 years: 105,800 hl.
White: 43,900 hl,
Sparkling: 61,900 hl (includes both mousseux and pétillant).
Base yield: 52 hl/ha for still wines, 65 hl/ha for sparkling.
Varietals: Chenin Blanc and Orbois, an auxiliary authorised to 5%.
Growing practices: Planting density: 6,600 vines per hectare Low fan pruning.
Appearance: Intense and bright; colours range from straw yellow for sparkling and sweet wines to gold with a hint of amber for mature dessert wines.
Nose: These wines are appealing when young, with flavors of acacia, rose, citrus and brioche for sparkling wines; they then develop notes of cooked or candied fruit, with apricot, quince and marked notes of blossom honey.
Palate: Dry whites are rich with classic flavors. Other Vouvrays can be soft and sensual or smooth and luscious depending on their level of sweetness, but all have a good edge of freshness.
To serve: Sparkling at 8°; dry at 11-12°.
Sweet wines should be decanted and chilled to 8° to fully appreciate their development.
Dry whites: Full-flavored fish dishes such as seafood stew, smoked salmon tagliatelle, monkfish flambéed in cognac) or dishes in a white sauce; soft cheeses.
Demi-sec: Fish and white meat in creamy sauces: skate wings, chicken livers, and veal sweetbreads with morel mushrooms; cheeses such as Swiss Gruyère, Comté, Salers or Reblochon.
Sweet: As an aperitif, or with desserts featuring apples, pears, nougat or almond paste; blue cheese such as Fourme d’Ambert, Roquefort and Bleu d’Auvergne.
Sparkling: As an aperitif, or as the perfect, more festive replacement for dry whites. They pair well with cheeses such as Brie, Brillat-Savarin, Saint-Marcellin, Beaufort or, Gruyère.
Vouvray wines have a considerable lifespan (10 years or more), which can be enhanced by the right storage conditions (in terms of temperature and moisture) in the deep cellars dug from the limestone hillsides.