- By Nabilah Rawji
- 15 Oct 2020
- 5 MIN
- Level 201
Quincy (pronounced “Kan-SEE”) is a small Sauvignon Blanc producing region in the Central Vineyards of the Loire Valley. This tiny region once eclipsed its larger neighbor, Sancerre, for fame and recognition but fell out of favor after World War II. Quincy is now reviving its winemaking traditions and its reputation for making distinctive, high quality sauvignon blanc.
Just west of Tours, a large tributary called the Cher breaks away from the main Loire river and travels nearly in parallel as it curves southeast. Quincy is situated along the Cher river about 40km southwest of Sancerre. The region occupies the flat plains around the river. The soil here is mainly alluvial sand and gravel with some underlying clay-limestone. A small patch on the right bank in the commune of Brinay has some Silex soils as well, similar to those of Pouilly-Fumé. The rest of the AOP has pervasive sand and alluvial silt deposits.
The weather here is drier and hotter than most of the Central Vineyards thanks to lower rainfall and the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean. Sauvignon Blanc ripens earlier here compared to Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, and Menetou-Salon, and the result is wines with a softer fleshy texture and a riper fruit character. Quincy offers an excellent bridge to the Old World for wine drinkers more acquainted with Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and elsewhere in the New World.
The winemaking style in Quincy follows the common approach to white wine vinification used in most of the Loire valley. The grapes are typically pressed promptly after picking , with a possible short period of cold settling before alcoholic fermentation begins. Fermentation and ageing is most commonly done in stainless steel tanks and the wines are bottled to be enjoyed within a few years of release. A short rest on the lees is sometimes practiced to add depth and texture to the wines, but the emphasis is on minerality, freshness, and fruit character.
Young producers are driving the revolution and revival of terroir-driven winemaking. Small parcels of very old vines still exist in the appellation and make for some of the more interesting bottlings to be found. Some top producers in the region include Domaine Trotereau, Domaine Jean-Michel Sorbe. and Domaine de Villalin.
Commercially, Quincy produces a mere tenth of the volume that Sancerre does. The AOP is 317 hectares and boasts just 37 producers. The overwhelming bulk of the region’s wines are consumed within France. The roughly 8% of production that is exported retails for much less than Sancerre and can make for an attractive alternative for sommeliers curating by-the-glass programs. Indeed, as prices for Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé continue to rise, so will interest in satellite appellations like Quincy.