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Loire Valley Vineyards

Listed under Wine Regions in Loire Valley, France.

  • Photo of Loire Valley Vineyards
  • Photo of Loire Valley Vineyards
Photo of Loire Valley Vineyards
Photo by flickr user Joe Shlabotnik
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Famous for it’s glorious chateaux and churches, charming villages, cuisine and scenery, the Loire also has a long tradition of producing excellent wines. Beginning at the Massif Central Mountains and running along on either side of the Loire River as it meanders across France and empties into the Atlantic, wine grapes have been cultivated here since around 400AD. At the northern edge of suitable wine growing country, the Loire’s summers are mild rather than hot and each year the concern is that the grapes won’t ripen enough, but this slow ripening adds to the crispness of the flavours commonly tasted in Loire Valley wines.

The main problem with touring wineries in the Loire Valley is it’s size, there are more than 70 different sub-regions or appellations producing a huge variety of wine from red to white, still to sparkling and dry to sweet. As a rule the best places for vineyards are on the south facing slopes common on the Loire’s left bank. The best Musadets are found around Nantes and the western Loire, the best Sauvignon Blanc grapes for the Pouilly Fumes and Sancerres on the eastern side, and Anjours and Saumurs near their namesake towns. What most Loire wines do share is a fresh flavour which suits drinking rather than keeping.

A good way to experience a large portion of what the Loire has to offer is to travel between Angers and Sancerre. By taking the smaller back roads you get the best of the countryside and don’t miss out on any of the important vineyards. There are a range of ways to see the Loire, by bicycle, hot air balloon, boat or by walking. Either way be prepared to get off the tourist routes to drink and eat the most interesting local flavours.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Other expert and press reviews

“Excerpt from 'Days of Wine and Poses'”

By Kate Mikhail for The Observer First published April 23, 2000 ...The British have a bad name when it comes to wine tasting, or at least they used to have. After downing the free wines on offer, they would buy one bottle and walk, earning them the sha… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Guardian

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

La Grande Maison, Best Loire B & B with Wine Tours

We spent three nights with Sue and Micaela in their fascinating B & B, an historic wine manager's house with caves, near Saumur in the Loire Valley. Both hostesses are wine experts and enjoy driving their comfortable van with guests to visit local wineries and vineyards for private tours and tastings. They are personally acquainted with owners and winemakers who take pleasure in sharing their wines and wine knowledge. Picnics along the scenic Loire Valley are included, and Sue is an excellent cook who will also prepare dinner (paired with local wines, of course), with prior reservations.

Set among vines, the house has four wonderful bedrooms with ensuite baths,completely modernized for comfort but retaining their 14th century charm. Guests are pampered with local handmade soaps and soft linens. There is a lovely garden for relaxing with an evening glass of local Anjou wine. You will be welcome to tour the caves beneath the property which were used for collecting and crushing the grapes at harvest as well as aging the wines in oak barrels. This is truly a unique property and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Visit the website for additional information and directions: www.lagrandemaison.net

Best for a range of flavours

The Loire has an excellent range of wines and flavours. If you’re not sure what you like you’ll be able to taste a range here from the crispest of the crisp Sauvignon Blanc to the smooth warmth of the Pinot Noirs which reflect the terroir so purely, to the value for money rogue of a wine Muscadet (the best ones are from the Loire). You’re bound to discover something new here which is the main reason to tour wine regions. And the countryside is second to none as well if you like a pretty village and the odd gorgeous chateau.

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