Sancerre is a French wine Appellation d'origine contrôlée or AOC for wine produced in the area of Sancerre in the eastern part of the Loire valley, southeast of Orléans. Almost all of the appellation lies on the left bank of the Loire, opposite Pouilly-Fumé. It is well regarded for and primarily associated with Sauvignon blanc. Some Pinot noir is also grown, accounting for around 20% of the region's production, making mostly light red wines under the designation of Sancerre Rouge. A rosé style from Pinot noir is also produced in a style similar to Beaujolais, which is produced from the gamay grape.
White Sancerre was one of the original AOCs awarded in 1936, with the same area being designated for red wines on 23 January 1959. The AOC area has expanded fourfold over the years, most recently on 18 March 1998. The town lies on an outcrop of the chalk that runs from the White Cliffs of Dover down through the Champagne and Chablis. A series of small valleys cut through the chalk, each with their own soils and microclimate and terroir. In the east are the "flints" that make minerally, long-lived wines. Between the town and Verdigny the soil consists of marl and gravel – "les caillottes" – producing fruity, well balanced wines. And in the southwest, away from the river towards Menetou-Salon, the chalky "terres blanches" (white ground) produce weightier wines. Most – but not all – of the Sauvignon Blancs are unoaked.