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A prince’s kiss rouses a cursed princess from a century of slumber in Sleeping Beauty – a fairytale illustrative of the long-comatose state of Savennières. The Loire Valley appellation has been given the kiss of life in recent years, though there was no royalty puckering up – this is the French republic after all. Instead a group of energetic newcomers has breathed new life into the region’s veins.
Scroll down for Rebecca Gibb MW’s top Savennières
The change has been a long time coming for an appellation whose potential was clear but not fully realised. Records show that this village on the right bank of the Loire was making wine long before English painter JMW Turner sketched its slopes and famous tower-like rocky outcrop La Pierre Bécherelle in 1826.
The wine village experienced success and prosperity in the 19th century, according to Evelyne de Pontbriand, a former teacher who took over the family property Domaine du Closel from her mother in 2001 and has plans to write a long-overdue history.