Unique in many ways, this grape variety is predominant in the Vins de Nantes (it represents 95% of wine produced). It is not to be found anywhere else, with some rare exceptions.
The name Melon de Bourgogne is revelatory of the variety’s characteristics—the leaves that grow on the Melon de Bourgogne grapevine are shaped like melons—and origin. The plant can be traced back to the Middle Ages (it is mentioned by Rabelais in his Fifth Book) and became increasingly widespread thanks to relations between abbeys in Loire and Burgundy. In the eighteenth century, demand for Melon de Bourgogne skyrocketed as Dutch traders increasingly sought out fortified wine and eau de vie. In modern times, the name “Melon de Bourgogne” was gradually replaced by “Muscadet,” most likely a reference to the grape’s lightly musky aroma.
Appreciated for its vibrant, delicate, briny aromas, Melon de Bourgogne enjoyed even greater popularity following the phylloxera epidemic in the early twentieth century.
The Melon de Bourgogne is a crossbreed between its Burgundian parent Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc, a grape variety that no longer exists today. It delivers a refined, nuanced palette and is known for its ability to bring terroirs to their fullest expression.
Also known as Gros-Plant in Val de Loire, this grape variety is used to produce Gros-Plant du Pays Nantais wines. Originally from western France, it was traditionally used to make Cognac and Armagnac. Folle Blanche is appreciated for its highly aromatic nose and its elegance.
The Malvoisie used to produce Coteaux d’Ancenis white wine in the Nantes wine region is more commonly known in eastern France and Germany as Pinot Gris. A variant of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris resists cold temperatures and spring frosts. Despite its pink hue, Malvoisie is a white wine grape that produces refined dry wines but is particularly adapted to producing sweet wines given its high concentration of sugar. Malvoisie wines reveal complex aromas of peach, pear, apple, quince, spices and honey.
Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc is a grape variety that originated in Burgundy. Star of the Beaujolais, Gamay is grown throughout France to produce fruity, supple, attractive wines. In Coteaux d’Ancenis, it is used to produce the only red and rosé wines of the Vins de Nantes.
« Great Muscadet can be complex treat. Along with subtle flavors of fruit and herbs, Muscadet, like so many of the best white wines, offers almost tactile expression of the earth in which the grape were grown »
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