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On the Atlantic coast of France, north of Bordeaux, the Loire River valley has an ancient history of well respected wine. Likely first made by the Romans, Loire wine developed a reputation for quality that lasted centuries. The cooler climate makes the Loire more suitable to white wines, with Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne, and Sauvignon Blanc being the most planted. In the eastern portion of the Loire River's span, Sancerre and Puilly-Fume produced fine, flinty Sauvignon Blanc. In the central portion of the Valley, in Vouvray, Chinon, Cheverny, and Touraine, Chenin Blanc dominates the white production, while Cabernet Franc takes a lead and results in a soft, aromatic red wine. Chenin Blanc is produced in a range of styles, from a dry high acid wine with notes of green orchard fruit, to an off-dry style produced in Vouvray that is quite well known for its ability to age for decades. In this central portion of the valley, the bulk the AOC Crémant de Loire production occurs, second only to Champagne in volume. Crémant de Loire consists of a blend of Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay. Melon de Bourgogne is the central grape in the coastal portion of the valley. The AOC Muscadet consists of only the Melon grape. Historically Melon was favored because it was early-ripening. It's relatively middling flavor profile led to different techniques, such as bottle sur lie to bring out freshness and complexity. Muscadet can have no more than 12% alcohol by volume. The cooler climate and long-lived traditions of the Loire Valley result in a reputation for approachable and rustic, yet simultaneously elegant and fine wine, with a surfeit of opportunity for curious drinker and collectors.