On a warm day of september, we decided to take the car and drive south of Paris.
Two hours later we arrive in an area, calm and voluptuous, where the greens of the vineyards compete with crispy blue skies.
Sancerre is a charming hilltop town perched in France’s Loire Valley.
Overlooking the Loire river, the town offers plenty of scenic views and is filled with narrow winding streets and medieval quarters. Surrounded by vineyards, the town is famous for its delicious white wine, which is known simply as Sancerre, and mouth-watering goat cheeses (crottin de chavignol).
Sancerre is a perfect destination for a wine escapade. The city’s cobweb of twisted streets and medieval buildings provide plenty of sightseeing. Two unmissable attractions include a 16th century bell tower called Belfry of St. Jean and the Maison des Sancerre wine exposition, which is located in a house built in the 14th century.
The town is also filled with dozens of cafes, bistros and iconic wine tasting caves. Visitors at these caves can savor a range of local cheeses and enjoy several glasses of wine. Some wineries also offer jeep tours for a better view of the landscape. Plenty of rooms located in villas are also available for overnight stays.
But let’snot loose the initial purpose of our trip!!
Laporte Winery was on the schedule.
Glorious and happy tasting thanks to Bruce Barett our sommelier who arranged for the appointment as we sell the Sancerre Laporte “Le Rochoy”on
Le Vallauris Wine List.
“The subsoil consist of clay and flint which gives minerality and aging potential.These elements give exceptional Sancerre Wines with 3 Cuvees:
Le Rochoy and Le Grand Rochoy in white, and Les Royaux in Red”
Wine from Sancerre was likely first cultivated by ancient Romans around the first century. Because of its altitude and rolling hills, the terrain received both plenty of sunlight and cool air. These conditions made the area ideal for cultivating grapes.
Originally, Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes were grown in the area. During the Renaissance, local wines from these grapes were sold in the large nearby cities of Orleans and Bourges. In the 19th century, a phylloxera epidemic devastated the region and wiped out most of the Gamay grape varieties. Sauvignon Blanc grapes were later replanted.
During World War II, Sancerre white wine (made from Sauvignon) became popular among many Paris bistros and was considered Beaujolais’s white counterpart. (Sancerre appellation was created in November 1936).About four decades later, a wine quality conscious culture helped elevate Sancerre’s reputation into an elegant white wine. Within a few years, the wine was featured in fine restaurants all over the world including Le Vallauris Restaurant. Today, most winemaking in the region is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes although the region does produce a small amount of Sancerre Rouge made from Pinot Noir.
In couple days now, Sancerre like many wine regions in France will be in a turmoil.
Harvest, although delayed by the fairly bad month of July will start in about 10 days.
Time for us to return to the USA and enjoy all those great wines sitting under the beautiful ficus trees at Le Vallauris
Le Vallauris Restaurant
385 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, California92262
Open Daily for Dinner, Saturday Lunches and Sunday Brunch.