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 white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.