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Wineries in Berry/Cher Region FRANCE


currypuff
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Not sure if this is better here or in the France forum.

Can anyone recommend some nice wineries to visit in this area, particularly in the Sancerre area?

Or anywhere else in the central Loire area?

I was told by a coworker who tried to tour Bordeaux in her car that it was very rustic... basically just driving up to people's farms and not really set up commercially. I really just want an "authentic" experience... welcome arms from a small family vineyard or something a bit bigger and a chance to buy some wine that isn't stupendously expensive....

Merci bien...

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currypuff, you truly have an embarrassment of riches. Not only is there Sancerre, there is, right nearby, Pouilly-sur-Loire (of Pouilly-Fumé fame), and on the other side of the Loire, Menetou-Salon, where they make both reds (light Pinot Noirs) and whites (Sauvignon Blanc) in the same style as Sancerre. Try the small town of Chavignol or Verdigny; or go to the website of La Maison des Sancerre, which has a directory of producers. For non-"star" (i.e. not too expensive) winemakers, Reverdy is good, as are Paul Prieur, Raimbault, Denizot. For Menetou-Salon, I like Charvet, especially their whites.

Further center are Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny, where ambitious young producers are starting to make excellent whites (from Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, or Romorantin grapes - Cour-Cheverny is the only place that variety is used - and for reds, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Côt (Malbec)). Look for producers such as Hervé Villemade or Michel Gendrier or, more classic and certainly inexpensive, Michel Cadoux. More biodynamic, fascinating and a bit hit-or-miss is Michel Quenioux.

There are also the small appellations of Reuilly (reds, whites and "gris" rosés made from Pinot Gris, a curious originality) and Quincy (Sauvignon-based whites). While I am not a fan of Reuilly, there are some good producers making Quincy, including Jacques Rouzé and Valéry Renaudat.

If you want to dive into "le Berry profond" - much more rustic and economically somewhat depressed - there is the charming little town of Châteaumeillant, where they make mainly reds and gris. The Domaine du Chaillot stands out.

In any case, the winemakers of the Berry, aside from a couple of top-end Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé producers, are as a whole extremely down to earth, with farms rather than châteaux, and will be happy to meet you, spend time with their different cuvées talking and tasting and expounding on their ideas of life and wine.

Hopefully you speak French, though...

Edited by sharonb (log)
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