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Chinon- AOC by decree on 31st July 1937

Chinon - the city of Rabelais and the capital of wine tourism - celebrates its great red wines while at the same time offering a large range of rosé and white wines as well.


The vineyard
Geographical location: The area covered by this appellation stretches across 18 communes on both sides of the River Vienne until it joins the Loire.


Surface area: 2,300 ha (5,600 acres)
History: Many princes and kings - from the Plantagenets to Richelieu - stayed in the chateau overlooking the Vienne, and in 1429, it was here that Charles 7th received Joan of Arc  who had come to try and convince him to win back the kingdom of France. Chinon is also the native soil of Rabelais. History and his romanticised versions of it are engraved in its architecture and landscape, making it a place of pilgrimage (of a more wine than literary type) and Renaissance charm that is very popular with tourists.
Types of soil: In Chinon,  there are three main types of soil one after the other:
- First of all come the silt terraces (old and new) along the Vienne, consisting of gravel and sand;
- Then, come the hillsides and isolated Turonian chalk hillocks (yellow limestone) along the edge of the waterways;
- Finally, come plateaux and hillocks mainly consisting of flint clay and sands (Senonian).
Climate: The wide confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers is an open door to the mild influence of the Atlantic. The oceanic climate penetrates inland through the two valleys to reach as far as the furthest slopes and terraces. Oriented East-West, the hillsides enjoy a great deal of sunshine from the south.  There is a favourable microclimate similar to that in the Bourgueil area, giving ideal growing conditions for the Cabernet Franc grape.


The wine
Annual production:
Roughly 110,000 hl, 8% of which is rosé and white.
Basic yield: 55 hl/ha
Grape varieties: Red Chinon wine is made almost exclusively from the Cabernet Franc (or Breton) grape, although blends can contain an authorised maximum of 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. White Chinon wine is made from the Chenin Blanc grape (or Pineau de Loire).
Dominant growing practices: Density of 5,000 plants/ha. Strictly regulated pruning, generally simple Guyot pruning for the Cabernet.

Sensory characteristics:
Red Chinon wines are an intense cherry to deep purple colour which turns to shades of brown with hints of purple.
Gravel grown wines are light, delicate and highly aromatic (red fruits), and are very pleasant to drink even when very young.The flint clay and limestone hillsides and plateaux give robust, full-bodied wines that turn towards complex aromas of crushed black fruits, mild spices and wild game. (Of course, some winegrowers blend wines using grapes from different terroirs).
White Chinon wine is a very mineral “taffeta wine” (as Rabelais called it) and its rarity endows it with glory.
Serving temperature: 14-15°C for the youngest, 16-17°C if they have moved on in age. Decanting is recommended to soften the first and bring out the full bloom of the latter.
Ageing potential: Depending on their type, Chinon wines reach maturity between 2 and 5 years or between 10 and 20 years.

Cliquez pour agrandir
Where to find this wine?
This wine will enhance :
White meats in sauce
Also goes well with
For a variety of occasions :
When Asia Comes To Dinner
A Relaxed Aperitif
A Colourful Vitamin-Packed Housewarming
Market Day
Football Night

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