The Centre is the Loire basin from south to north, from the Côtes du Forez and Côtes d’Auvergne plateaus to the Orléanais where the Loire at Orleans slopes towards the Atlantique.
In the south on the plateaus, the grapes grow on volcanic basalt and granite soils. Here they make original wines from the Gamay, sometimes in combination with Pinot Noir.
Further north on the slopes and in the river valleys of Indre, Cher, Allier and Loire, the grapes mainly grow on sand, gravel and limestone soils. Here they make the crisp and clear Sauvignon wines of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, but also in the less known AOC’s of Quincy and Reuilly.
Originally, Pinot Noir was the most important grape here. After the Phylloxera Vastatrix in 1870, it was mainly the strong Sauvignon that was planted to produce excellent Loire wines on this terroir.
Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé, Menetou-Salon, Quincy and Reuilly are now mainly known for their Sauvignon Blanc but fortunately there are still red and rosé wines made from Pinot Noir and in Reuilly they make a delicate rosé from the Pinot Gris.
In the Orléanais, very different grapes play the leading role. Here they make fresh fruity wines from Chardonnay and the ‘Champagne grape’ Pinot Meunier, a real surprise.
AOC’s Orléans, Orléans-Cléry, Coteaux du Giennois, Pouilly Fumé, Pouilly sur Loire, Sancerre, Menetou Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, Châteaumeillant, Côte du Forez, Saint Pourçain and Côtes d’Auvergne.
In half an hour you may drive from the B&B towards the Loire and see what wines are produced there. Check the calendar for available rooms.