For over ten centuries, the red grape variety Cabernet Franc has flourished in the Loire Valley. Vines were probably introduced here earlier, in Gallo-Roman times, but it was around the Abbey of Bourgueil, founded in 990, that monks established Cabernet Franc (locally called ‘Breton’) in Touraine.  


Restigné, a village producing AOC Bourgueil

Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil

The twin appellations AOC Bourgueil and AOC Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil stand right next to each other and were among the very first wine areas in France granted AOC status, back in 1937.


The following parishes make up the AOC Bourgueil area: Bourgueil, Benais, Restigné, Ingrandes-de-Touraine, Saint-Patrice, La Chapelle-sur-Loire and Chouzé-sur-Loire.

As to Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, it is the only AOC wine in the Loire Valley to be produced in one single parish.

Both of these wine-producing areas open up towards the Loire. Here, spring comes early and autumn is sun-drenched. The wooded slopes above protect the vineyards from northerly winds.


  • Vines on the stony patches of the former riverbed give sustained, balanced structure to the wines here, as well as fresh, lively tannins. These wines have hints of raspberries, blackberries and violets and are fruity and supple.  
  • Vines on the sandy, pebbly terraces above make for light fruity wines that are great for easy drinking, for example at festivities or a drink with friends. As well as aromas of raspberries, you may detect wild strawberries. The tannins are subtle and smooth.
  • Higher up on the tufa limestone slopes, the vines produce more tannic, powerful, lasting wines, the roots reaching down deep and extracting aromas of black fruits, producing complex wines that are full of substance.

Vine coming into leaf

Selecting the grapes after the harvest

While red wines predominate across the two appellations, fruity, aromatic rosés are also produced in these parts, great for summer evenings, barbecues and picnics.

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