Melon de Bourgogne
As it name suggests, this is an old Burgundy grape variety which has become well adapted to the salty, sea air of the Loire estuary, home to a very distinctive wine, Muscadet (by which name it is also sometimes called.) The name may refer to its somewhat musky aromas or in olden times to the nutmeg (muscade) that Dutch merchants added to the wine before distilling it. The grape is well suited to clay and silica soils and can withstand frost.
Most of the grapes are grown around the town of Nantes where it is the only grape permitted in the Muscadet appellations. The wines are crispy, with a mineral saltiness and a touch of citrus. When they are aged on their fermentation yeasts (sur lies) they can become richer and deeper with magnificent, umami flavours that make them ideal partners for seafood and fish dishes.