Centre-Loire Wines

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Words of wine

A AOC - Acidity - Alcohol

B BIVC - Bacteria - Balance - Bud - Budburst

C Caillottes - Cask - Caudalie - Cellar

D Decanting De-earthing - Disbudding

E Empyreumatic -

F Fault (of Sancerre)Flowering 

G Geology -

H Harsh - Hoeing



K Kieselguhr Kimmeridgien 

L Label - Leaf - Lees

M Maceration Malolactic fermentationMarc Marls

N Neck-labelNoble rotNose

O Oak caskOenology Opening out of the vine buds

P Palate Pedology - Peppery

Q Quality 

R Racking Refractometer Residual sugars

S SICAVAC - "Saint Paul""Saint Vincent"Selection Sensory analysis 

T Tannin Tartar Taste (sense of)Tasting 


VineVine branchVineyardVintage

White soilsWineWine growerWine making method


Yeasts Yield



A.O.C. - Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée. Created in 1935 and administrated by the professionals within the framework of the French National Institute for the Labels of Origin (I.N.A.O), A.O.C labels guarantee the origin, the authenticity and the quality of the product. It exists in France for more than 400 A.O.C wines.

Acidity - Generic term which qualifies the fresh taste of a wine and contributes to its balance.

Alcohol - Main constituent of the wine after water. It comes from the fermentation of sugars by yeasts.


BIVC - Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Centre. Interprofessional house for the wines of the region Centre. Created in 1994, the B.I.V.C groups together the wine growers and the wine merchants of the region. It permits the economic follow-up of the vineyards as well as the qualitative follow-up of wines after their launching on the market. It is also in charge of the promotion of wines and public relations within France and abroad.

Bacteria - Microorganisms present in wine which belong to different species,some favorable, some not, to its development. Lactic bacteria permit a second obligatory fermentation for red wines (the malolactic fermentation).

Balance - Harmony between the various elements from the first nose to the finish.

Bud - Shoot which grows at the start of the leaves. The buds will produce grapes.

Budburst - The time when the buds develop and come out of the bud after the winter dormancy. In the vineyards of Centre-Loire, budburst takes place during the month of April.


Caillottes - Term that refers to the chalky-calcareous soils of the Sancerre appellation. They cover 35% of the appellation surface area. The wines produced on these soils generally develop faster and have very developed floral notes.

Cask - Wooden container invented by Gauls. The size is different according to the regions.

Caudalie - Unit of measure for the finish in the mouth of a wine length of after-taste. One caudalie corresponds to one second.

Cellar - Term that designates the place where the vinification is made and where wine growers age and preserve their wines.


Decanting - It consists in pouring the wine into a carafe to separate it from the deposits (mainly for old wines). It also aerates wines with a closed nose.

De-earthing - The process of removing excess soil covering the vine plant.

Disbudding - The removal of some of the buds borne by the vine. It permits a better control of the yields. The exposure of the grapes to the sun is also improved.


Empyreumatic - Aromas of roasting with a slight toasted taste (toasted bread, smoke, tobacco etc).


Fault (of Sancerre) - Caused by a seismic movement, this north-south oriented fault that goes through the village of Sancerre, created the bed of the river Loire. The great diversity of terroirs (in Sancerre and the Coteaux du Giennois) is due to this fault.

Flowering - Stage of the vine growth cycle that determines the quantity of grapes. The date of the blossoming may indicate the date of grape harvest.


Geology - Science describing soils and subsoils. Geology influences the vine growth.


Harsh - Term used for an extremely astringent wine.

Hoeing - Land work that does not require chemical weed-killer.


I.N.A.O - (Institut National des Appellations d'Origine). French National Institute for the Labels of Origin (A.O.C and A.O.V.D.Q.S). Created in 1935, this professional organization is in charge of administrating and granting the labels of origin. The chairman is appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture on the proposal of the winemakers.


Kieselguhr - Powder of diatoms stemming from siliceous rock, used for the filtering of wines.

Kimmeridgien - Geological stratum of the Jurassic era (secondary era). It corresponds to the white soils, where white wines, particularly good for long-term cellaring, are produced.


Label - Created towards 1860, the label is used to notify the consumer of compulsory comments (name of the appellation, capacity, alcohol content of the wine, volume, surname, address and occupation of the bottler ). The vintage, the awards won and the grape varieties are optional comments.

Leaf - Thanks to photosynthesis, this part of the vine feeds the plant and especially produces the sugars of the grape.

Lees - They are formed by the sedimentation of (dead) yeasts after the fermentation. They are usually eliminated during the rackings.


Maceration - Operation that consists in bringing into contact the juice and the solid matters (grape skins) in order to obtain colour (for red wines). The skin contact is a variant, sometimes used to increase the aromatic content of white wines.

Malolactic fermentation - Transformation of malic acid into lactic acid. It naturally makes the wine less acid. In Centre-Loire, only red wines do this fermentation.

Marc - Residue of the white grape pressing. Solid matters remaining after the devatting of red wines.

Marls - Chalky-clayey soils that contain between 65 and 95% of clays. It mainly represents the white soils situated in the geological stratum called kimmeridgien.


Neck-label - Label on the neck of the bottle with the mention of the vintage.

Noble rot - Beneficial form of the Botrytis Cinerea development that leads to a concentration of sugars and to a modification of the organoleptic characters.

Nose - Organ of the sense of smell which is essential for the perception of a taste. It is also used to define aromas (aroma of citrus fruits etc).


Oak cask - A wooden receptacle intended to keep the wine during the fermentation and/or the maturing. In Centre-Loire, barrels are used for red wines.

Oenology - The science of the wine.

Opening out of the vine buds - When the buds grow and open out after winter. In the Centre-Loire vineyards it occurs during April.


Palate - Upper part of the mouth which perceives tactile and thermic sensations.

Pedology - Study of the soils and their chemical, physical and organic characters as well as their evolution and their properties.

Peppery - Spicy character found in some red and rosé wines.


Quality - Main characters of a grape, a must or a wine…


Racking - It consists in transferring the wine to separate it from the lees settled at the bottom of a vat or a barrel or to aerate it.

Refractometer - A device used to measure the density of a liquid by the use of light refraction. This tool is used to follow the evolution of the grapes maturity.

Residual sugars - Sugars, no transformed into alcohol during the fermentation, present in the wine.


SICAVAC - (Service Interprofessionnel de Conseil en Agronomie, Vinification et Analyses du Centre). Interprofessional department of advice in agronomy, wine making, analyses of the region Centre. Professional technical centre created in 1994, specialized in oenological/wine studies and advice.

"Saint Paul" - Patron saint of farmers. He is celebrated in the villages of Menetou-Salon and Morogues.

"Saint Vincent" - Patron saint of wine growers. Celebrated the 22nd of January, it gives rise to a great reunion among wine growers for one or more days.

Selection - Selection of the highest quality grapes during the harvest, avoiding the rotten or unripe grapes.

Sensory analysis - Very precise description of all the feelings perceived during tasting.


Tannin - Substance contained in the grapes and that brings a feeling of astringency to the wine.

Tartar - Crystalline deposit left by a wine after the end of its fermentation.

Taste (sense of) - Sense that permits the perception of flavours. The main 4 tastes are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness and saltiness.

Tasting - Sensory analysis of the wine's qualities. Three stages are necessary: the eye, the nose, the mouth.


Vine - The vine is a liana in a natural state. Most of the wine produced in the world comes from the Vitis Vinifera species.

Vine branch - Green shoot of the vine. The vine branch becomes the vine shoot when it turns into wood.

Vineyard - All the vines of a wine estate or an appellation.

Vintage - Year of a wine harvest. Its mention is not obligatory but when it is mentioned on the bottle, it means that 100% of the wine has to come from this vintage.


White soils - Soil made of clay and limestone, found in the western part of the Sancerre vineyard. Called ''terres blanches".

Wine - Alcoholic drink obtained from the partial or total fermentation of the grape.

Wine grower - Person who grows his own grape vine and vinifies his grapes.

Wine making method - Operations that go with the transformation of grapes into wine.


Yeasts - Unicellular organism permitting the fermentation of wines.

Yield - Production of a vine per hectare. In the Centre-Loire vineyards, the maximum yields for white wines represent 65 hectolitres per hectare; for rosé wines, 63 hectolitres per hectare and for red wines, 59 hectolitres per hectare. The control of yields is the first quality factor of a wine.

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