Sancerre is justifiably famous for its Sauvignon Blancs, but it’s high time to pay attention to the reds which, while still small in number, are fast gaining a reputation for quality and Burgundian elegance. Tina Gellie reports

Sancerre at a glance

Appellation 1936 for whites (from Sauvignon Blanc), 1959 for reds and rosés (from Pinot Noir)

Producers 308 winemakers, 21 merchant producers, 1 co-op

Production (2013) 169,738hl; 81% white, 11% red, 8% rosé

‘God is in the east,’ Jean-Laurent Vacheron whispers reverently as he offers a glass of his 2013 estate red. Mecca for Vacheron is Burgundy. He has made frequent pilgrimages there, been instructed by some of the region’s finest names, and is a devotee of its most exalted product: Pinot Noir. In Sancerre, whose name means Sauvignon Blanc in the same way that Chablis equals Chardonnay, this obsession might be considered unusual, but it is an increasingly common one throughout this central Loire appellation as the red revolution gains momentum.