Print This Post Print This Post

Cabernet Franc – at home in the Loire and VA

Cabernet Franc is one of Virginia’s signature grape varieties. Fred Tasker’s recent column on the Loire Valley in France shows some parallels in climate and soils that may be of interest to new Virginia growers.

According to Tasker, “The climate and soils combine to create wines that are fresh, lively and crisp with acid, pleasant as aperitifs and great with food. ‘Tufa is a mixture of limestone and chalk. The white wines get their mineral qualities from it,” says Marie Olivier, wine consultant for the Loire producer Domaines Rollan de By. ‘Our red grapes relate to the Loire’s cool weather. They like it cold and humid.’”

Richard Leahy informs us that in St. Emilion (Bordeaux), the best sites have clay under limestone and cab franc and merlot both do well with that combo, and the Piedmont (VA) has piles of clay. As well, there is significant limestone and chalk in the Shenandoah Valley.

Class dismissed!