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Wines from the Loire 

Muscadet and Gros Plant

Muscadet is crisp, dry white wine a little flowery and fruity - the best is the Muscadet Sur Lie.

Muscadet is perhaps the better known of the white wine of the Nantes region.  In 1709 there was a terrible frost which damaged many of "Folle blanche" vines from which Gros Plant was produced so the "Melon" variety of grape from Burgundy was imported and planted.  This variety was more cold resistant and amazingly although it had not produced that exciting wine in Burgundy adapted to the region with the excellent result of Muscadet.

It was given an AOC - Appelation Controlle in 1936,  The A.O.C. distinction is given to  four classifications  which come from Coteaux de la Loire, which is to the east, Sèvre et Maine from the south of Nantes , Grand-Lieu  originates from the Grand-Lieu lake region  and then sundry other Muscadets from other areas.

The Muscadet-sur-Lie originated from the wine growers of the region storing a barrel of Muscadet for special occasions.  It was discovered that this was different in taste, this being due to the wine being kept in a barrel or vat over winter and the wine absorbs flavour from the barrel and in the spring the carbon dioxide that has developed gives the wine a type of sheen and it is more alive and fresh tasting.  

In general Muscadets are better drunk when young but certain wines can be kept - ask your wine merchant because this varies according to the Vineyard and year.

Locals are firm believers in Muscadet as a hangover cure.  A glass in the morning will see off many ill effects!

Gros Plant from the "Folle blanche" grape can also be produced "sur-lie".

There have been vineyards in the region of Nantes for many centuries, it is said from even the Roman times. However in the 15th century the "folle blanche" grape variety was introduced which subsequently evolved into the variety from which Gros Plant wine is produced.

Coteaux d'Ancenis

Not at all well known and very few and far between and restricted to a number of villages. 80% of these wines come from the Gamay grape.  The red is a little like Chinon and there are Gamay roses and dry whites.