Vouvray is a wine region of the Loire Valley, France - located in the Touraine district just east of the city of Tours in the commune of Vouvray. The (AOC) is dedicated almost exclusively to Chenin Blanc though the minor grape Arbois is permitted but rarely used.
Vouvray is the largest white wine appellation of the Anjou-Saumur-Touraine region and it produces splendid wines from dry to the richest dessert wines, and excellent sparkling wines. Vouvray is made exclusively from Chenin Blanc, which has been grown in the region since the 4th century. The Vouvray AOC was designated on the 8th December 1936.
The flint-clay and limestone-clay soils lie on top of tuffeau, the limestone used to build the many chateaux of the surrounding countryside.
The regions cool climate insures good acidity, which is balanced by the distinctly fruity character of Chenin Blanc, and the mineral qualities imparted by the soils. On average, 60% of each vintage is made into still wine and 40% sparkling Crémant.
Sweet Vouvray (Demi-Sec, Moelleux and Doux) is not usually made from grapes that have been allowed to remain on the vine until overripe and shrivelled, but from botrytis, so the percentage of dry to sweet wine depends on each year's conditions.
In a cool year, only dryer wines are made but in years where warm weather continues into winter, harvest for sweet wines is delayed until November (the latest harvest in France) and there may be several pickings in order to harvest the grapes at their optimum ripeness. With the naturally high acidity of Chenin Blanc, Vouvray from ideal vintages has immense aging potential with some examples drinking well at 100 years of age.
The wine develops richness and depth over time but rarely lose its fresh and fruity character. Vouvray comes in six styles: dry (sec), off-dry (tendre), semi-sweet (demi-sec; 4-12 grams per litre), sweet (moelleux; 12-45 grams per litre), sweetest style (doux; 45+ grams per litre) and sparkling (petillant).
Food pairings: fresh salads, goat cheese (simpler sec & tendre); roast chicken pork, turkey (better sec & tendre); Thai, lightly spicy Asian (demi-sec); foie gras (moelleux); apple tart pastry (doux).