Red Chinon wine, which benefits from protected designation of origin (PDO) status, is a wine from the famed wine-producing Loire Valley of center western France.
The links to terroir of the Red Chinon wine region deeply affects the wines that are produced there with the geology of each part of the region modifying the taste and life of the final product.
The wines grown here that are produced on the gravelly terraces on the border of the Vienne River, for example, are light, extremely aromatic wines with hints of red fruits. You can drink these at their “birth,” that is, as soon as they’re bottled.
However, the clay-limestone soils of the plateaus and hills in the area create fine traditional wines that can be aged over a life of 20 years or more. These are full-bodied, well-structured wines that have complex aromas including a subtle spicy taste and notes of dark red fruits.
This area is also unique in that it’s one of the only places in the world that can be influenced by different winds from year to year, which means that wines harvested in different years will have a bit more variation than wines produced in other regions. Each harvest is marked by a dominant wind that could come from the southwest (warm and humid) or the east (colder and dry). In this region, called the Garden of France, the climate is generally mild and pleasant.
Chinon wines hail from an area situated on 2,300 hectares near the small town of Chinon, which gave the wine its name. Chinon is notably the birthplace of famous French humanist François Rabelais and has a long history, being settled since at least the time of the Roman Empire.
The wine producing area of Chinon is rich in passion and tradition. Winemakers there reveal each year wines that are faithful to what composes the idea of a PDO product: terroir, vine varieties, and savoir-faire. Nearly 200 winemakers in the area produce this variety of protected product.
Red Chinon wines pair well with white and dark meat, poultry, game and light cheeses. Their lifetimes vary from two to five years for wines produced on a valley floor and from ten to 20 years for wines produced on the surrounding plateaus and hills.