Appellation within the Anjou area of the Loire wine region, named after the Layon tributary of the Loire. The area has been famous for fruity sweet wines since the 4th century. The area comprises around 1,400 hectares of vineyards on slate and sandstone terraces in 27 communes along the river. The AOC applies to white wines that are made from 100% pure variety of noble rot (not mandatory) or at least overripe grapes of the Chenin Blanc variety (here Pineau de la Loire). The yield is limited to a maximum of 35 hl/ha, the alcohol content must be at least 11% vol, the residual sugar content at least 34 g/l.
Six communes may add their name to the list, namely Beaulieu-sur-Layon (or Beaulieu), Faye-d'Anjou (Faye), Rablay-sur-Layon (Rablay), Rochefort-sur-Loire (Rochefort), Saint-Aubin-de-Luigné (Saint-Aubin) and Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay (Saint-Lambert). The yield is limited to a maximum of 30 hl/ha, the alcohol content must be at least 12% vol. and the residual sugar content at least 34 g/l. The wines may be designated Sélection de grains nobles (Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese) if the sugar content of the mash is over 294 grams/l (221 g/l for simple Coteaux du Layon and 238 g/l for the privileged communes).
Due to exclusive terroirs there are two independent appellations: Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume. The Quarts de Chaume (within the commune of Rochefort-sur-Loire) has a special status. From the 2003 vintage onwards, the wine was marketed under the AOC designation Coteaux du Layon Chaume. However, this led to confusion and discussions, because the commune of Rochefort-sur-Loire also has its own AOC Quarts de Chaume. The INAO then decided on a special regulation in 2011. Quarts de Chaume can be supplemented with "Grand Cru" and for Chaume there is the designation Coteaux du Layon Premier Cru Chaume. For these three appellations the yield is limited to a maximum of 25 hl/ha.