The appellation is located in the winegrowing region Loire at the end of the Loire Valley in western France on the coast to the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the city of Nantes. She counts to the area Pays Nantais, The ancient wine-growing tradition in this area bears witness to a decree of the Roman emperor Probus (232-282). Formerly red wines were cultivated here, but this put an end to the extreme frost of the year 1709. The already introduced in the 16th century white wine variety Melon de Bourgogne developed into a kind of monoculture. It was especially popular among Dutch winemakers, who made the wine spirits distilled and marketed in Northern Europe. The name Muscadet, which is commonly used here, finally gave its name to the area already classified in 1937. The hilly vineyards cover approximately 13,000 hectares of vineyards in more than 50 municipalities, which extend over the entire department of Loire-Atlantique, and partly in the departments of Maine-et-Loire and Vendée. The large area is divided into four sub-appellations:
Muscadet : The area covers 3,400 hectares; Here grow the simpler qualities.
Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire (until October 1995 Muscadet des Coteaux de la Loire): The area is located in the north left and right of the Loire and covers 280 hectares of vineyards.
Muscadet-Côtes de Grand Lieu : The area is located in the southwest and covers 320 hectares of vineyards left of the Loire around the eponymous Lake Lac de Grand-Lieu.
Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine (until 1995 Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine): The largest area, named after two small rivers, covers around 9,000 hectares on the left bank of the Loire. Here grow on clay soil (Vallet), and slate and Granithängen (St-Fiacre) the best wines. The production is 80%.
The wine is sometimes called a "white answer to Burgundy Beaujolais " designated. As the only grape variety is Melon de Bourgogne authorized. From the mid-1990s was with Maceration and barrel fermentation experimented. Before fermentation, the natural minimum sugar content of the must must be 144 g / l, which corresponds to 9% vol alcohol content. If in bad years one enrichment (Chaptalization), the alcohol content of the fermented wine must not exceed 12% vol. The normal (without yeast storage) produced white wines can also as Nouveau (Primeur) will be marketed as early as the third of November-Thursday after the harvest.
To the designation "sur lie" (on the yeast matured) on the bottle label, the wine must remain in contact with the yeast after fermentation at least until 1 March of the following year in the fermentation tank (see under lees ). This is reserved for the three higher appellations. This gives the wines a fresh and sparkling taste. Another requirement is lower yields. The bottling takes place immediately after the tapping without clarification or filtration, For wines with even fuller bodys, they are stored until 30th November.
Well-known producers in this area are Domaine de Beauregard, Domaine Bouffard, Domaine du Bois Bruley, Domaine de la Chambaudière, Château de la Chauvinière, Domaine Bruno Cormerais, Domaine Michel David, Donatien Bahuaud Domaine de l'Ecu, Domaine de l'Errière, Chateau de la Ferté, Domaine Gadais Père et Fils, Gauthier, Domaine Guindon, Domaine de la Haute Févrie, Domaine du Haut Fresne, Domaine Landes des Chaboissières, Martin Luneau, Marquis de Golaine, Chateau de la Preuille, Sauvion, Domaine du Paradis.