Charentais is an IGP title for red, white and rosé wines that come from a large area on the west coast of France, north of the famous Bordeaux wine region. The area, which officially encompasses the Charente and Charente-Maritime departments, is most famous for being a part of the sizeable Cognac AOC area, and the IGP title is reserved for the table wines that are made here. The official catchment area of Charentais stretches from the Gironde estuary in the southwest to the foothills of the Massif Central in the east. It is traversed by the Charente river as it makes its way to the Atlantic.
A large range of grape varieties are permitted in Charentais IGP wines, but the Cognac grape varieties Ugni Blanc and Colombard feature heavily. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are also used to large degree in the white wines, and the majority of red wines are made from the Bordeaux staples Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as some Gamay and Pinot Noir.
The Charentais IGP was known as Vin de Pays Charentais until 2009, when French wine authorities began to phase out the Vin de Pays denomination. This has been replaced across the board with Indication Géographique Protégée, a category intended to improve the image of regional French wines as well as bring French wine labels in line with those of the European Union.
The French Wine Project has and continues to forge relationships with family-run vineyards to bring you the very best wines from the region.