Region: Loire Valley, France
To the south of Blois, a town perhaps best associated with its imposing château, lie the little-known twin appellations of Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny. Having only been elevated from the level of Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure to appellation status in 1993, neither are regularly spotted on the average wine merchant’s list, and I think it is fair to say that these wines are a niche interest, most likely to appeal most to the hardened Loire fanatic. The smaller enclave of Cour-Cheverny, however, is something very different indeed; it allows only for white wines made solely from Romorantin. Forty years ago this variety was much more prominent in this part of the Loire Valley, but in the years that have since passed it has retreated somewhat. Today, Cour-Cheverny is its last strong foothold in the region. There are a handful of domaines still working with the variety, and without a doubt one of the best is François Cazin. Cour Cheverny has only existed as an AOC since 1997; François Cazin was instrumental in the drive to establish it to save this ancient local variety. The Cazin vines are planted on clay-limestone soils; some go all the way back to 1928. The farming is sustainable and the harvest by hand.