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Touraine Wine

Touraine is the district at the very heart of France's Loire Valley wine region, both geographically and in terms of production. Named after the city of Tours at its center, it follows the course of the Loire river for roughly 60 miles (100km), from Blois and Mesland in the east to Chinon and Bourgueil in the west.

Chateau de Chenonceau, Touraine

Touraine has its own generic regional appellation (simply called Touraine) which covers the entire district, as well as several titles that are more specific in terms of both location and wine style. These range from the dry, fruity reds of Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil to the diverse whites of Vouvray and Montlouis. The Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny zones, trapped in the hinterland between Tours and Orleans, are often grouped into the wider Touraine area on maps and wine lists.

Wines made under the Touraine regional appellation may be red, white or rosé, and each color also comes in sparkling variants. The still red wines are made principally from Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Malbec (known here as Cot), with smaller proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Their white counterparts, which make up roughly half of all Touraine wines, are dominated by 'Sauvignon' – a combination of Sauvignon Blanc and (less commonly) Sauvignon Gris. Touraine roses, which constitute less than 10% of production, are created from the same varieties as the reds with the addition of the Loire's less-favored Grolleau Noir and Pineau d'Aunis, and even Pinot Meunier.

The Touraine district is located a full 140 miles (226km) from the Atlantic Ocean, and the same from the northern Massif Central hills of central France. As a result, the climate here falls somewhere between maritime and continental. There is a noticeable difference, however, between the cold, drier winters in the district's eastern edge and those in the west, which tend to be slightly wetter and more temperate. In summer, the slow-moving waters of the Loire do little to cool the Touraine vineyards; this region is known for its hot, torpid summer days.

Throughout the Touraine, the better vineyard sites are those blessed with free-draining soils rich in tuffeau. Tuffeau is the calcareous rock for which this part of the Loire Valley is famous. It was used as the building material for most the valley's famous chateaux, and tuffeau caves proved perfect for long-term wine storage and ageing. There are various etymologies and confusions surrounding tuffeau, tuff and tufa, but what is clear is that the rock here in the central Loire is a form of soft, porous limestone formed during the Turonian age (named after Tours) of the Cretaceous period, roughly 90 million years ago. Its two key forms: chalkier, firmer tuffeau blanc and softer, sandier tuffeau jaune. The former is used for building chateaux, while the latter underpins the Loire's finest Cabernet Franc vineyards, in Saumur. Both types are geologically distinct from the volcanic rock on which the vineyards of Tufo, southern Italy, are planted (see Greco di Tufo).

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Domaine Huet Vouvray Cuvee Constance Moelleux, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $217 1508
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Moelleux, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $198 2544
Domaine Pichot Vouvray Le Peu de la Moriette Demi-Sec, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $17 2558
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $30 2806
Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux Premiere Trie, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $85 2864
Bernard Baudry Chinon Cuvee Domaine, Loire, France Cabernet Franc $18 3295
Champalou Vouvray, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $18 3565
Domaine Huet Vouvray Petillant Brut, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $29 3815
Baron de Ladoucette Marc Bredif Vouvray, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $23 3847
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Sec, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $27 4028
Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $85 4169
Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $32 4412
Delaille Domaine du Salvard Cheverny, Loire, France Chardonnay - Sauvignon Blanc $15 4734
Sauvion Vouvray, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $13 4820
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $37 5190
Francois Chidaine Vouvray Le Bouchet, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $23 5254
Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grezeaux, Loire, France Cabernet Franc $22 5573
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Premiere Trie, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $95 6129
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $53 6363
Francois Chidaine Montlouis Clos Habert, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $25 6420
Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $42 6727
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $37 6935
Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l'Echo, Loire, France Cabernet Franc $27 7089
Bernard Baudry Chinon La Croix Boissee, Loire, France Cabernet Franc $29 7154
Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec, Loire, France Chenin Blanc $46 7764
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