Sancerre is only about 130 km (80 miles) from Saint-Aignan, but it's not that easy to get there. The mapping sites usually send you on long detours, sticking to main roads either through Bourges to the south or Orléans to the north. Meanwhile, the most direct route goes on narrow lanes through the forested Sologne region from one tiny village to another — Mennetou-sur-Cher, Theillay, Neuvy-sur-Barangeon, Méry-ès-Bois, Henrichemont, etc. — all of which feel remote, rural, and lost in time. It's easy to take a wrong turn.
The most famous wines of Sancerre are very dry, steely Sauvignon Blanc whites. It's just across the river from Pouilly-sur-Loire. At this point, the Loire is flowing north before taking the big bend that puts it on its course westward through Orléans, Blois, Tours, Saumur, and Nantes. Pouilly also makes Sauvignon Blanc. "Its character is often described as gunflint...", Hugh Johnson writes of both wines in his Worldwide Atlas of Wine, "...it is smoky, sightly green, slightly spicy and appeals to most people intensely at first with its summery style." The vignerons of Sancerre also make red and rosé wines from the Pinot Noir grape. Our local Touraine wine-makers work hard to make white wines that have the excellent qualities of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé whites.
Yesterday I read a blog written by a woman from Boston who recently spent a few weeks at a language school in Sancerre. Here's a link to her blog, Truffles and Tribulations.