Muscadet wine appeared during the 17th century, in the traditional wine region of the Loire Valley. The Muscadet name has been protected since 1937 under an AOC, and later a PDO, which covers an area of 32.000 acres. Muscadet wine is exclusively a white wine. It is nowadays one of the most popular wines in France with 100,000 bottles sold every year.

The Oiselinière castle, one of the first domains to produce Muscadet wine

The Oiselinière castle, one of the first domains to produce Muscadet wine

The Muscadet is exclusively produced around Nantes, with grapes from the Burgundy melon vine variety, originally from the Burgundy region. The story says that Louis XIV ordered the planting of the Burgundy melon vine in the Nantes region after a particularly cold winter since this variety handles cold temperatures better.

A Burgundy melon grape cluster

A Burgundy melon grape cluster

The Muscadet wine region contains several subdivisions: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu, Muscadet Côteaux de la Loire  and regular Muscadet. About two-thirds of Muscadet wine is produced under the {Muscadet Sèvre et Maine } name. The cultivation area for {Muscadet Côteaux de la Loire } is the smallest, giving stronger and more full bodied Muscadet wine.

Muscadet wine can also be aged “sur lie”, on the lees, which refer to deposits of yeast and other particles that gather at the bottom of the vat. Thanks to a partial fermentation of the yeast deposits, this aging “sur lie” gives the wine a slightly bubbly, or pearly texture (“perlante”).

"Sur lie" aging wine, the deposits of yeast can be seen at the bottom of the vat

“Sur lie” aging wine, the deposits of yeast can be seen at the bottom of the vat

The characteristics of Muscadet wines make them a perfect accompaniment for seafood dishes. The “pearly” texture goes perfectly with shellfish, particularly oysters