Touraine AOC is a sub-appellation of the Loire Valley, one of France’s largest and most picturesque wine regions. Located around the city of Tours, the region is known as château country because of the many fairy-tale castles located along the Loire River, its tributaries and plains. Touraine was awarded AOC status in 1939 and it includes 13,000 acres and 70 communes. Red, white and rosé wines can be made in this AOC. Red grapes grown in Touraine are Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Pinot Noir. The white wine grapes grown here are Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Red Touraines are tannic and sometimes fruity. Whites are dry and full-bodied. Wine writer Hugh Johnson notes that the best reds of Touraine “have all the fragrance and charm of Cabernet Franc.”
This is a parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon. It most likely originates from Basque country. It is an excellent blending grape, known for making the exquisite Cheval-Blanc. Franc is a little hardier on a vine than Sauvignon, but drinks smoothly at the table.