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The appellation lies on the upper course of the Loire in central France. It is named after the small community of the same name (1,500 inhabitants) on a hill 150 meters above the river on the west bank. The area is not only known for its wines, but also for the goat's milk “Crottin de Chavignol” soft cheese. According to legend, the king, known as a wine lover, planted Henry IV (1553–1610) an oak tree near Chavignol, which was allegedly destroyed by lightning in a thunderstorm in 1993. Incidentally, the wood was used for the production of oak barrels. Henry IV said that "the wine of this place is the best he has ever drunk, and if all the people in his empire would drink it, the religious wars would end" . At that time, however, mainly red wines were produced.
In the 1960s, only around 700 hectares were cultivated, but from the 1970s, white wine developed into cult wine, Today the vineyards cover around 2,600 hectares of vineyards between 200 and 300 meters above sea level. Certain municipalities or parts may add their name to the appellation. These are Bannay, Bué, Brie (part of Bué), Chavignol (part of Sancerre), Crézancy, Menetou-Ratel, Ménétréol, Pouilly, Sancerre, Sainte-Gemme, Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent, Saint Satur, Sury-en -Vaux, Thauvenay, Veauges, Verdigny and Vinon. The area is divided into three areas according to the floor. These are “Terres Blanches” (white soils) with a mixture of clay and limestone in the west, the one with a lot of gravel and chalk in the middle flint richer by Sancerre in the east. The continental climate is characterized by cold winters.
The white wine will unmixed out Sauvignon Blanc vinified. It is that of the AOC Pouilly-Fumé very similar, which is a few kilometers upstream. Out Pinot Noir light, fragrant rosé and red wines are made, which account for about 20% of production. Well-known producers are Domaine Bailly-Reverdy, Domaine Delaporte. Domaine Henri Bourgeois, Cotat Frères, André Dezat, Gustave Fouassier, Domaine Girault, Gitton, Pascal Jolivet, Domaine Laloue, Serge Laporte, Alphonse Mellot, Joseph Mellot, Merlin-Charrier, Paul Milléroux, Henry Natter, Domaine da la Perriere, Vincent Pinard, Paul Prieur, Domaine Raimbault-Pineau, Michel Redde, Pascal & Nicolas Reverdy, Reverdy-Cadet, Dominique Roger, Jean-Max Roger, Domaine des Vieux Pruniers and Domaine Vacheron,