Muscadet wines have always been a natural accompaniment for oysters and other shellfish. They are harvested at maturity and are one of the few wines to have such remarkably natural “dripping” and such fruity freshness.
Geographical location: The vineyard is located at the western end of the Loire vineyard and is limited by Brittany to the North, the hills of Mauges and the Vendée in the East and South-east, the Breton Marsh in the South-west and the Atlantic coast in the West.
Surface area: 3,600 ha (8,900 acres)
History: Mentioned by Rabelais in his “Cinquième Livre”, the Melon de Bourgogne appeared in the 16th century on the banks of the Loire river. The presence of the abbeys in the area testifies the bonds between the Loire Valley and Burgundy which could even be older.
Types of soil: Mixture of volcanic and metamorphic rocks from the Massif Armoricain, with mainly gneiss, micaschists, gabbro amphibolite and a little bit of granite.
Climate: Moderate oceanic climate with regular year-round rainfall, sunny summers and the warming influence of the Gulf Stream. From one end to another of the vineyard, the climate is more moderate. This situation results from the more or less large distance between the Loire and the coast in particular.
Annual production: 214,000 hl
Basic yield: 65 hl/ha
Grape varieties: Melon de Bourgogne
Sensory characteristics: The wines are generally pale with green flecks.
The aromas of the Muscadet are abundant in white flowers and fruit.
When they are aged on lees, the wines are supple with freshness and slightly effervescent. The Muscadet can also be vinified on its lees (‘sur lie’). The wines must have spent a winter stored in a tank or barrel and should remain on their lees until the point of bottling. The slight residues of carbon dioxide which remain after fermentation give the wines their particular freshness and special liveliness on the palate, often referred to as the ‘pearls of youth’. They also offer a great finesse and a characteristic bouquet.