Your Wine IQ

Savennières


Wine By Region Right Europe Right France Right Loire Right Anjou Right Savennières


Savennières is the smallest appellation of the Anjou, with only 740 acres of eligible land. And only about half the acreage is actually planted. Although similar to Saumur, it makes wines of much less diversity and more exclusivity, a natural consequence of its smaller size.

The famously metallic, bitter Chenin Blancs made here can range into the stratosphere in terms of exclusivity, especially the renowned Coulée de Serrant. Over the years the wines have attained a significant cult following. Critics call them an acquired taste, but bestow good reviews upon the best examples, and as a result of these factors these wines have become quite expensive.

History

Savennières has a long history. Like most French appellations, it was originally planted by monks in the Middle Ages, who knew little about winemaking but planted the seeds for the winemaking greatness the appellation eventually took on. Savennières was made an AOC in 1952, originally for dry wine only, but later on rules for sweet wines were introduced.

Climate and Viticulture

Savennières encompasses three communes: Savennières, Bouchemaine, and La Possonière. These three are in the northwest part of the Loire river, far from the sweet wine appellations of the Coteaux du Layon, so the river is a bit colder there.

The reason only half the acreage of Savennières is actually planted is because by far the best vineyards are on hills whose soil is composed of schist. Land that doesn't lie on these hills doesn't have the same soil type, so producers generally don't bother to plant off the hills.

Grape Varieties

Only one grape is used here.

Major Producers

Savennières has a number of ambitious producers. We have selected a particular seven of them.

Subregions

Savennières has two subappellations, both of them vineyards:

There are other notable vineyards here, notably Clos du Papillon and Le Clos Sacres, but these are the only two that are officially designated under the AOC.