Upper Loire

A region renowned for Sauvignon Blanc

The Haute-Loire region is planted primarily with Sauvignon Blanc. Soil composition is rich in calcium and other minerals, allowing this variety’s potential to flourish and producing fine and elegant wines, often with very intense aromas. The popularity of this varietal in the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé appellations has led many commercial producers to lower their standards for quality and increase yields to meet demand. Fortunately for lovers of great wines, some winemakers continue their quest for authenticity and excellence on the prestigious soils where Sauvignon gives the finest and most complex wine.

Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, the two big Haute-Loire appellations, produce relatively similar wines at the high end. The majority of vineyards in Pouilly-Fumé are lower than those of Sancerre, which stand between 200 and 350 metres. The vineyards in the north of Pouilly appear to be the appellation’s best. At the heart of Sancerre, the limestone soil contains a high proportion of flint and minerals, which make wines that age well. Moving away from Sancerre, the soil contains a greater proportion of clay, which results in more robust wines: Less refined, but with more fruit.

Winemakers from Upper Loire

Wines from Upper Loire