Loire Valley Wine Regions
Sitting on the Loire river, exists one of the most romantic and enchanting places to visit in all of France. The unspoilt medieval hilltop town of Sancerre is home to jaw-dropping sprawling vineyards. These produce some of the most highly distinguished, and historically important, examples Sauvignon Blanc in the world.
Thought ofby some as the greatest white wine producing region in the world, all of Vouvray’s winemaking efforts are centred around producing Chenin Blanc. The diversity and ageing potential of just one grape is demonstrated incredibly when opening a bottle of dry, half-dry, sweet or sparkling white wine. The region produces all styles impeccably.
With vineyards dating back to the fifth century, Pouilly-sur-Loire is home to the rolling Pouilly-Fumé vineyards that wrap around and along the town’s countryside. Despite only growing Sauvignon Blanc since the 19th century, the vineyards here now produce white wine which easily rivals any region’s dry white wine in the world.
With strikingly individual character, the Apellations of Bourgueil & St. Nicolas-De-Bourgueil both excel equally in delivering exceptional quality Cabernet Franc. There is real beauty in experiencing the differences in just how the two dedicated wine making towns, only two miles apart, craft incredible red wine in their own inimitable style.
Dotted around the heart of The Loire Valley with many beautiful chateaux is Touraine. The Loire’s most diverse region is primarily known for it’s Sauvignon Blanc, yet also produces traditional style fruity red wine using Malbec, Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir & Pineau d’Aunis grapes.
Possibly the best kept secret of The Loire. Cheverny, & its subregion Cour-Cheverny, produce distinct white wine using a rare Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay blend (Cheverny) & even rarer Romorantin (Cour Cheverny). The grapes used to make light, dry reds and delicious rosé are Pinot Noir & Gamay.
Famous for its castle built by King Charles VII, one of France’s very first appellations is a tiny, traditional & dedicated wine making town with a population of less than 1000 people. Having flown under the radar for so long, Quincy is finally achieving legendary status. Exclusively producing crisp, stylish, dry white wine using Sauvignon Blanc.
In just twenty years, the overall amount of wine produced in Reuilly has increased by a staggering five fold! The finer Sauvignon Blanc here offers incredible value, and the Pinot Noir made from old vines can be truly outstanding. The jewell in the crown here though, is Reuilly’s sublime Pinot Gris.
Dating back to the 11th century; it is this region that has the mighty Sancerre looking over it’s shoulder. Excelling in producing refreshing, crisp white wine using Sauvignon Blanc; Menetou-Salon’s finest examples are formidable. This appellation also devotes a fifth of its yield to producing equally high quality Pinot Noir.
A complex ensemble made up of several apellations; aptly named “the Pearl of Anjou”. Saumur Champigny is revered for it’s reds made using Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon. AOC Saumur itself is highly regarded for sparkling white wine using Chenin Blanc & Chardonnay grapes, whilst Coteaux de Saumur produces illustrious & exceptionally rare semi-sweet Chenin Blanc.
Until 1938 the vineyards of Montlouis and its wines fell under the Vouvray classification. The two regions face one another; Montlouis lies on the West Bank of The Loire, whereas Vouvray sits on the Northern bank. The only grape permitted here is Chenin Blanc. Mirroring Vouvray, you can find wonderful examples of all styles of white wine from still dry, demi-sec, sweet, sparkling and petillant.
Associated more famously with its pyramid shaped goats cheese and its incredible chateau than its wine, that could all change if Valencay’s key winemakers continue to improve their wine as drastically as they have done recently. Fruity red blends and the chance to sample the almost extinct yet thoroughly divine white “fie gris” grape make visiting this appellation thoroughly worthwhile.
Having gained AOC status in 2010 and with less than 2% of its total production being exported, this little known appellation spanning just 60 hectares is a rosé wine lover’s secret paradise. Châteaumeillant red wines are made from Gamay & Pinot Noir and are firm, tannic but fresh. However, it is the Rosé (or Vin Gris as it is known locally) made from Pinot Gris that can be truly exceptional.
Frequently asked questions
The following combinations available on full day tours are;
- Pouilly + Sancerre
- Quincy + Reuilly
- Cheverny + Touraine
- Valencay + Touraine
- Vouvray + Touraine
- Vouvray + Chinon
- Chinon + Bourgueil
- Chinon + St Nicolas Bourgueil
- Bourgueil + St Nicolas Bourgueil
If the full day tour combination you want is not listed as an option then please send an enquiry detailing your requirements via the enquiry option or via the contact page.
You will visit 3-4 winemakers, experiencing wine tasting sessions at each one, and tour 1-2 vineyards.
Generally it is thought best to keep the overall total of wines to somewhat of a minimum. When tasting wine, each sample can affect the next, and so on. However whilst some of the winemkaers you shall visit will offer the chance to sample just two different wines, others can offer over a dozen.
The vineyards are the rows of vines where the grapes grow, and the winery is the place where the grapes go to be made into wine once they have been harvested.
Often the winery is situated amongst the vineyards, but not always.
Very often the tasting sessions are held at the winery. Occasionally the tasting sessions are made available at a seperate location from both the winery and vineyards.
Tasting sessions amongst the vines can also be possible, dependent on the time of year and the weather.