In the heart of the Loire Valley, Chinon - a small vineyard, as prestigious as many of the great names in wine - dtaes back to the 12th and 13th centuries long before it was so beautifully celebrated by the great François Rabelais, whose portrait adorns the labels of the domain.
Located near Tours between the Loire and Vienne rivers, the Chinon appellation area, controlled by decree since July 31st, 1937, covers approximately 2,300 hectares (or 4,700 acres) and nineteen towns.
Red wine from Cabernet Franc grapes makes up the vast majority of Chinon wine, but small quantities of white wine are also produced - less than 1% of total production - from Chenin Blanc grapes (also known as "Pineau de la Loire").
The vineyards are planted on two major types of soil:
- gravelly terraces, which offer light and fruity wines called "Easter wines" or "spring wines", and
- argilo-calcareous & argilo-siliceous hillsides, which produce wines suitable for ageing, sometimes for long periods.
Depending on their terroir of origin, some wines can be enjoyed extremely young or, on the contraty, must be left to age many years before all their flavours are revealed.
Map of the Chinon appellation d'origine contrôlée (A.O.C.)