Above, Elise Balland is justly proud of her family's fine red and white Sancerres.
White Sancerre, though it doesn't say so on the label, is Sauvignon Blanc.
But it was Pinot Noir that first brought fame to the steep, stony vineyards that surround the spectacular hilltop town of Sancerre.
The recent success of New Zealand Sauvignon has served only to boost demand for Sancerre.
Real Sancerre experts believe that each soil type brings a different nuance of taste, but the unifying factor is a dry, tangy minerality, rather than the passion fruit and tomato stalk that typifies a Marlborough Sauvignon.
Most white Sancerre should be enjoyed young and fresh; but a handful of growers believe that more complex, rich wines are possible.
It may come as a bit of a shock to those who think Sancerre should be light, crisp and mineral, but Alastair Stewart, of local stockists Richard Granger Fine Wines, in Jesmond, Newcastle, told me his customers love it (he currently offers the 2006 for pounds 17.
All Sancerres, by French law, must be made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, so I asked the winemaker how he compared his wine with California Sauvignon Blancs.
As far as he was concerned, Sauvignon Blanc was just the medium through which his special part of the world, Sancerre, could be tasted.