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Touraine


Wine By Region Right Europe Right France Right Loire Right Touraine Right Bourgueil   Cheverny   Chinon   St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil   Vouvray


Touraine, a large region of the Loire, is the home of one of the Loire's best white wine appellations and three of its best red wine appellations. It produces little wine within its own AOC, but includes a number of smaller regions that have achieved top status among French wines, particularly Chinon for red wines and Vouvray for whites. The 13,000 acres extend over three regional départements, and encompass about 2 million cases of wine production each year, including the subappellations.

Stretching across most of the Loire, the Touraine takes its name from the old region of France that was broken up back in the Middle Ages. Touraine, the wine region, still covers the same area but the départements are now called Indre, Indre-et-Loire, and Loire-et-Cher. Sheer size gives it a great advantage, with the massive appellation encompassing a significant percentage of the Loire. More red wine is produced here than in all other parts of the Loire combined.

History

The reason for Touraine's name is that the name of the wine region remained after the real Touraine region was broken up in 1790 as a consequence of the French Revolution. Winemaking here has had an extraordinarily long history, with historical mentions of Vouvray going back to the Middle Ages. The Touraine AOC was created in 1939.

Climate and Viticulture

Touraine's climate varies widely, as does the soil, across the region. Due to Touraine's enormous size, we would suggest going to each specific page to find out more accurate information about the climates of the wine regions.

Grape Varieties

The AOC for the entire Touraine region is for all kinds of wines. Light-bodied, fairly simple Gamays are made for drinking young. The slightly more ambitious reds generally use Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, or a mixture of the two. Whites are generally Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, or Chardonnay.

Major Producers

Touraine AOC is similar to Bordeaux AOC: large and regarded as of unreliable quality. However, we can recommend four very good producers that make wine generally exceeding the average.

Subregions

Touraine AOC is the basic appellation, and it has four satellite appellations of its own: Touraine-Mesland, Touraine-Azay la Rideau, Touraine Noble-Joué, and Touraine-Amboise. None are particularly common.

The true subappellations of Touraine, the ones that have their own AOCs and distinct grapes and flavors, number seven, and are listed below.