Indigenous grapeThe Romorantin grape, a rare variety from the Loire Valley
Grape varieties to discover, the romorantin
At goodproducer, as wine lovers, we are always looking for rare grape varieties that grow in exceptional and favorable soils and advantageous climate conditions. Those factors are the foundation of great wines.
That’s the case for the Romorantin grape. A variety that sounds pretty fancy. It is a white grape exclusively found in the Cour Cheverny Appellation, one of the most unknown in the Loire region. This appellation is famous for its castle and has huge potential for producing wines.
It was 1519 when Francis I, King of France, introduced the grape variety Romorantin to the territories surrounding the Castle of Romorantin, a clue that gives insight to where the grape name originates.
We’re in France, in the Loire-et-Cher department located in the Centre-Val de Loire region. This white grape variety of France surprisingly survived the phylloxera epidemic that destroyed most of the vines in European countries in the 19th century. Today winemakers of this region can count to just 60 hectares in what became the AOC Cour-Cheverny in 1993.
Curiosity for wine geeks
Studies of DNA fingerprints of Romorantin show that this white variety is a result of a cross between Gouais blanc and Pinot fin teinturie.
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Romorantin and its wines
Romorantin grapes ripen late in the season. Local winemakers generally start picking grapes in the beginning of October.
The soil is varied, and it determines the finesse and the complexity of the wines. From chalky limestone to sandy loam at deeper levels to calcareous clay to silicious clay near the upper ones.
Romorantin produces dry and off-dry wines. Dry wines are lighter and crispier with fruit notes that go from lemon to apple and can also have flavours reminiscent of honey.
Off-dry wines are generally more full-bodied with floral and tropical fruit hints. Here hints of honey are more intense. In both types, acidity is a nice presence that accompanies the freshness of both styles of wine.
The wine producer – Romorantin and their biodynamic practices
Domaine des Huards is a winery located in the commune of Cour-Cheverny in the Centre-Val de Loire region.
The Gendrier family represents the spirit behind this winery which began producing wine in 1846 and today, seven generations later, the Gendriers are still in charge. In 1998 changes to how the winery took care of the vineyards became apparent. Organic and biodynamic agricultural practices became the new path to follow.
The estate cultivates different types of grapes such as the white Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and the reds Pinot Noi and Gamay. Nevertheless, it is the white Romorantin grape that links the Gendriers to their winemaking roots. The wines made with the Romorantin grape are labeled A.O.C. Cour Cheverny while the wines made with other grapes are labeled A.O.C. Cheverny.
Tasting the Romorantin – Wine experience in Loire Valley
Domaine des Huards stands for not only winemaking, but this winery also encourages wine lovers to visit them.
The Estate is located in the natural Sologne region where a visitor can enjoy forests, lakes, and wetland meadows amongst other natural spaces.
A furnished tasting room is ready to host international and local wine lovers where they will try the full range of wines expertly paired with local dishes.
Romorantin land, a hidden green retreat to explore
The Centre-Val de Loire is a magnificent inland region of France that stretches along the valley of the winding Loire River. The region is well-known for its beautiful fields, painted with flourishing vineyards, historic villages, and imposing castles. Our winery faces an iconic wine region with picturesque riverside communities, cycling trails, and delicious regional food venues.
Mother nature has been very generous in this part of France, especially in one lesser-known spot we encourage you to discover: The Sologne natural region.
Sologne is located in Centre-Val de Loire, France, extending over portions of the departments of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, and Cher. Its area extends over 5,000 square kilometers.
This natural beauty boasts 3,000 lakes. These blue waters share the landscape with the bright green forests and wetlands. Superb flora originates in this place such as the magnificent violet and red orchids of the floodplains.
Abundant plant life makes for an ideal habitat for rich fauna. Around 50 species of mammals call Loire Valley home where, among others, deer and roe deer stand out. A multitude of fish live in surrounding freshwaters, such as the brook lamprey, a suckermouth, an eel-like fish.
Sologne is definitely a great destination for green tourism. Consider putting it on your list even if you are not a wine lover. As you could imagine, the open-air activities are limitless.
Video Credit: Sologne Tourism
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