Coteaux du Giennois wines
Grape pips found in archaeological digs at Cosne-sur-Loire have been dated back to the 2nd century, suggesting that vines have been planted here for a considerably long time.
In 849, King Charles "le Chauve" (the Bald), confirmed that a donation of vines and property was made by the Bishop of Auxerre to the college of the Church of Saint-Laurent in Cosne.In 1218, it was recorded that wines from the Giennois vineyards were purchased by the Royal Court of King Charles V in Paris. The castle of Cosne was built between 1254 and 1262 by the Bishop of Auxerre, and it included a vast cellar as well as vineyards.In January 1566, Charles IX and his mother, Catherine de Médicis stopped in Cosne. Amongst the gifts they were offered were bottles of the finest local wines.
The building of numerous abbeys in the region contributed greatly to the increase in the number of vineyards. The Cistercian Abbey of Roche in Myennes and the Commandery of the Templars were particularly influential. Around this time, Coteaux du Giennois vines were also cultivated farther down the river Loire, in the vineyards of the famous St-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey and upstream on the grounds of La Charité Abbey.
The vineyard is located on the slopes of the river Loire, in the departments of the Nièvre and the Loiret and is raised on siliceous or chalky soils.
The Coteaux du Giennois vineyard stretches over fourteen villages :
Beaulieu, Bonny, Gien, Briare, Ousson, Thou, Alligny, La-Celle-sur-Loire, Cosne-cours-sur-Loire, Myennes, Neuvy, Pougny, Saint-Loup and Saint-Père.
White wines: The white wines have the characteristic freshness of Sauvignon Blanc wines. They are a perfect accompaniment to fish and shellfish.
Red wines: The red wines are fine and fruity, with aromas of red berries and a scent reminiscent of venison as the wines evolve. The fruity and perfumed style of the Pinot Noir is well matched by the liveliness of the Gamay grape, producing perfectly balanced wines. These wines are best served with red meat. They are equally good served with a dessert of liquorice ice cream.
Rose wines: These fine wines, with light spiced notes, are perfect for summer meals with grilled meat and also with exotic food.