Muscadet is a unique style of white wine from France. Produced near the city of Nantes in the Pays de la Loire region - along the western part of the Loire Valley. Muscadet is most produced style of wine in the Loire Valley. It is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, often referred to simply as 'melon'.
As stated in French AOP law - wines are named either after the region they are grown or after the varietal *(the latter being Alsace only). Melon de Bourgogne is the sole grape variietal from which it can be made. It is thought to have been initially planted in the region around the 17th century. Becoming the dominant varietal after a devastating hard frost in 1709, which nearly killed all of the region's grape vines.

 

The Muscadet AOC appellation was officially established in 1937. The appellation contains 3 regional sub-appellations: Muscadet-Sevre et Maine - established in 1936, and produces around 80% of all Muscadet wines. Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire - established in 1936, and Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu - established in 1994.
Vineyards in the Muscadet producing region are planted in a wide variety of terroirs - ranging from gentle slopes near the river to rolling hills and even flat fertile areas near the mouth of the Loire River. The most ideally situated vineyards are in the rolling hills Muscadet-Sevre et Maine sub-appellation located south and east of the city of Nantes.
The soil in this area is rich in magnesium and potassium, made up of clay, gravel and sand above sub-soils of gneiss, schist, granite and volcanic rock. The most common hazards for grape vines in the Muscadet region - are winter and spring frosts, along with the threat of mildew near harvest. Melon de Bourgogne has adapted well to these unique conditions, being quite frost resistant and capable of ripening early.
Muscadet wines are often light bodied and almost always dry with very little, if any residual sugar. Muscadet has been described by many a wine journalist and enthusiast as - 'a perfect oyster wine'. The moderate alcohol (always under 12%) allows them to complement many dishes without overwhelming them. Most Muscadets should be enjoyed within three years, there are some exceptions - and served between 8-10ºC - enjoy.