A day in the vineyards of centre Loire.
Cosne-sur-loire in Burgundy (Bourgogne) is situated in the wine-country of Centre-Loire which includes the AOCs of Sancerre, Pouilly-sur-Loire and Pouilly Fumé, Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, the Coteaux du Giennois as well as the wines of Chateaumeillant.
Here are some examples of circuits worth a detour. They take place around Sancerre, Pouilly and the Coteaux du Giennois, which are all within easy driving distance of the Prieuré Saint Agnan. Many wine producers maintain the tradition of welcoming passing visitors. During your wine-tasting sessions (be sure to have a designated driver!), you will meet people truly passionate about their craft...
Sancerre (left bank)
Everyone knows, at least by reputation, of the Sancerre vineyards. In the heart of the Berry region, Sancerre, an English stronghold in the Hundred Years War, overlooks the Loire from its rocky outcrop. At the foot of sancerre : Chavignol, famous for its "crottins" cheeses...Bué, from where you should take in the amazing 'cirque de la Poussie'.
Crezancy.. .Assigny... Or go further afield and visit the neighbouring vineyards of Menetou-Salon with wines well worth the detour...
Starting point for this trip : the 'Maison des Sancerre' then follow the 'route des vins' which winds from village to village through fields of vines.
Pouilly (right blank)
The town of Pouilly, which produces the Pouilly fumé (not to be confused with Pouilly-Fuissé), is situated on the opposite bank of the river. In the 19th century, Pouilly produced a table wine that was sent by train to the Paris Halles food market. It's now a great place to stay to learn about the difference between Pouilly sur Loire and Pouilly fumé and the history of the term 'fumé'. On leaving the A77 which passes through the vineyards, you will find yourself on the mythic national 7, lined with its famous plane trees.
Starting point for this trip : go to the Tour du Pouilly and continue on through the vineyards of Saint Andelain, the Château de Tracy, the Château du Nozet...).
Coteaux du Giennois (right blank)
The Coteaux du Giennois are absolutely "the" vineyards to discover! They spread along the Loire from Cosne to the south of Gien. Further south towards Charité-sur-Loire, a Unesco-listed town, the very private Coteaux Charitois also await discovery!
Starting point for this trip : Cosne, Saint Père, Pougny, Bonny, Briare...
When you return to Prieuré Saint Agnan, a refrigerator is at your disposal to keep fresh any food purchases made that day (wine, Crottin de Chavignol cheese bought on the market or on the farm...) or for your apéritif if you wish!
A FEW TIPS FOR CHOOSING A GOODWINE
- Follow the advice of the many wine guides which will allow an initial selection making your search for the 'ideal' wine easier.
- Take note of the different medals and awards obtained (the choice of the best products has already been made for you) : regional competitions and national awards.
- Word of mouth? Why not, but bear in mind that your tastes may differ from those of your friends.
- Laure Juvet, from Vinitour, can offer you a visit of the vineyards from 1h30 to a day
- If a wine is to your liking in a restaurant, note the address on the label and visit the vineyard for yourself.
- Be adventurous and have confidence in your own random tasting...Generally that's how you discover the wines you enjoy the most, leaving fond memories of your trip.
Véronique and Gilles will give you the "guide of cellar and good addresses" published by "the office of the wines of the Centre" which lists all the addresses, telephone and opening days of all the cellars to visit.