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Sancerre is one of the great expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, made in any of 17 villages around Sancerre, at the upper end of France’s Loire Valley.

The best Sancerre wines are dry and aromatic, offering minerality, citrus notes and brisk acidity unique to wines produced in the region. Sancerre is often compared with Pouilly-Fumé, made just across the Loire River from Sancerre. The soils of the region contribute greatly to the flavors of the local wines: Dominated by clay or limestone and topped with gravel or flinty pebbles when the subsoil is mixed with chalky tufa, as in Pouilly, the wines are lighter and more refined; when combined with the Kimmeridgean soil of Sancerre, they become firmer and more strongly flavored.

Sancerre’s soils, as wine columnist Eric Asimov has noted, are similar to those of Champagne and Chablis vineyards, to the north and east of the Loire Valley. Where the grapes are grown may have more of an impact on the wine than the actual grape variety. "I find it fascinating that good Sancerre and good [Chardonnay] Chablis can have more in common than Sancerre and Sauvignon Blancs from California or New Zealand," he writes.



Recommended food pairings

Seafood, chicken, salads, egg dishes

Serving temperature


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