Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Chinon, significant red wine appellation in the touraine district of the loire (see map) in which a small amount of rosé, and satisfying dry white from Chenin Blanc grapes, is also produced. The total vineyard area was about 2,300 ha/5,683 acres in 2014. The vineyards extend south of the Loire on the banks of the Vienne, not far east of the fashionable red saumur-champigny, another product of mainly cabernet franc grapes, here often called Breton. No more than 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon is allowed. The region’s most famous son, the early-16th-century writer Rabelais, promulgated the wines of Chinon. In modern times, it is the gastronomic writers of Paris who have done much to increase demand for Chinon, and increase the extent of the vineyards that produce it (which had fallen to a few hundred hectares in the 1950s).