Camping in Vendee: Discovering French Wines  13/06/2014
To the north of Vendee is the Loire Valley, famous for its rich diversity of wines. The majority of wines from the Loire Valley are white, but there is also quality rose and red wine production. This region is also the second largest sparkling wine producer after Champagne. To the south of Vendee is Bordeaux, the largest wine growing region of France, producing 44 million cases of wine a year in an average vintage. This area is renowned for its red wines. These range in price from affordable table wine, to the world’s most sought after and expensive bottles.
So, what about Vendee?
Positioned between these two famous wine regions, Vendee also benefits from the warm climate that is ideal for successful vineyards. Formerly known as ‘Flefs Vendeen’, the regional wines have only recently been recognised by the AOC (Appellation original controlee). Prior to achieving this AOC standard, these wines generally within the region, so are not well known across France, let alone internationally. There are four main wine making territories within Vendee: Brem (said to have a subtle apple aroma), Mareuil (the largest of the Vendee wine territories), Pissotte and Vix (both producing full bodied wines). Both white and red wines are best served young and chilled and provide the perfect accompaniment to the local food delicacies. Why not try white wine with oysters or other seafood and red wine with beef or marsh mutton. Vendee benefits from more sunshine than the national average and this, combined with the unique coastal position, produces wines which are crisp, fresh with a lower alcohol content than other wine from other regions. To ensure a unique flavour, there are a number of factors that are needed for a wine to be classified as Flefs Vendeen including the fact that no vineyard is to be over 20 miles from the coast.
A Flefs Vendeen red wine must comprise of 50% Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes. This is combined with a Cabernet grape, which can be Sauvignon, Franc, Negrette or a blend of these. Negrette is a particularly dark grape, so produces a deep red wine and dry wine.
A Flefs Vendeen white wine must comprise of 50% Chenin Blanc grapes. This is combined with a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. They are light and fragrant. From our Carisma campsites in Vendee, you can tour the area to visit some of the local vineyards and sample the wines. A selection of Brem vineyards are just north of our campsite in Les Sables d’Olonne, so you can leave the car behind and either cycle or catch a bus to reach the Caves and vineyards.
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