Department: Cher (18)
Region: Centre

The villages and countryside around Sancerre produce some of France's best-known wines, the sampling of which is usually the most honest reason for visiting the town. 

But the town is at the heart of a delightful region perfectly suited to leisurely exploration and outdoor holidays, on bike, on foot or on horseback. Moreover, a stroll around the Old Town, where many interesting houses reveal an architectural heritage worth seeing, will be time well spent.

The Esplanade de la Porte César is a superb viewpoint over the vineyards to the woods and lakes of the Puisaye region. But of the chateau of the counts of Sancerre, all that remains is the 14th-century tower, equally suitable as a viewpoint.

© Atout France/Joël Damase

About the wines

'Sancerre' is a French wine Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for wine produced in the environs of Sancerre. Almost all of the appellation lies on the left bank of the Loire, opposite Pouilly-Fumé. It is well regarded for and primarily associated with Sauvignon blanc. Some Pinot noir is also grown, accounting for around 20% of the region's production, making mostly light red wines for quaffing under the designation of Sancerre Rouge. A rosé style from Pinot noir is also produced in a style similar to Beaujolais.

White Sancerre was one of the original AOCs awarded in 1936, with the same area being designated for red wines on 23 January 1959. 

The town lies on an outcrop of the chalk that runs from the White cliffs of Dover down through the Champagne and Chablis. A series of small valleys cut through the chalk, each with their own soils and microclimate and terroir. Between the town and Verdigny the soil consists of marl and gravel – "les caillottes" – producing fruity, well balanced wines. And in the south-west, away from the river towards Menetou-Salon, the chalky "terres blanches" (white ground) produce weightier wines.

© Atout France/Joël Damase


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Office de Tourisme du Sancerrois
Esplanade Porte César
18300 Sancerre
Tel: 02 48 54 08 21

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