For years, Touraine would compete with the Beaujolais for the release of an early bottling of Gamay that would rival the Beaujolais nouveau. While the competition is not so much of a focal point now, there are still some producers who release early bottlings of the wine around the same time as Beaujolais. The soil around the Touraine area is a variety of limestone with excellent drainage that is known as tuffeau which is the same material used to build many of the famous Loire Valley Châteaux.
The region around Vouvray, Montlouis-sur-Loire and Touraine has some of the most diverse plantings of all the Loire region. This is where the widest variety of wines are made - white, red and rosé wines.
The villages of Vouvray and Montlouis are the largest appellations in the region, and although they only make white wines from Chenin Blanc, the wines can vary in sweetness from bone dry (listed as ‘Sec’ on the label) to sweet (Moelleux) and very sweet (Doux/liquereux) both Moelleux and Doux are made with varying degrees of Botrytis. All of the styles also come in still or sparkling as Mousseaux - from the word ‘Mousse’ and are lightly sparkling, to Petillant - ‘Sparkling’