Loire Valley

Confronted to the Sauvignon Blanc, the more low profile varietals fight back.

Mardi 18 février 2014 par Vitisphere

Loire Valley: Confronted to the Sauvignon Blanc, the more low profile varietals fight back.

Strongly connected to the city of Moissac and its vin de table labelling, Chasselas has gone throughout the years via multiple vinifications .

Pouilly sur Loire is a living proof of that process, as the 30 hectares of Chasselas represent 3% of its total vineyards knowing that this varietal covered 50% of the total vineyard 50 years ago. This impressive contraction is due to the development of Sauvignon Blanc (the 8th most popular vatietal globally). « It is today more profitable while Chasselas is tougher to grow and yield inconsistently. We feel like the last of the Mohicans with Alsace and Savoie working with Chasselas » witnesses Sophie Guyollot who owns 60 ares of Chasselas out of the 30 hectares of her Landray-Guyollot domain (Pouilly sur Loire).

« Sauvignon Blanc is world renowned » says Michel Gendreir (Domaine des Huards - AOC Cheverny and Cour-Chevenry). « Producers, Distributors and clients play it safe and choose what they know. But the local varietals offer higher potential, especially through more specialized networks ».

They are growing and fighting back. Proof of this is the expansion of the Cour-Cheverny appellation which boast as its exclusive flag varietal Romorantin (which Francois the 1st bought back from Burgundy in 1519). Same can be witnessed in the neighbouring appellation of Cheverny. Michel Quenioux (Domaine de Vielloux) bets on the Orbois varietal (also known under the Menu Pinot name) to set his wines apart from the Sauvignon crowd.

[Source : Vitisphere ; Illustration : grappe de romorantin, Maison des Vins de Cheverny]

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