From the Atlantic Coast to the Centre Region, the Loire Valley extends on more than 800 kilometres. Having a great diversity of microclimates and terroirs, the wine-producers in the region produce many different wines. However, most of the wines produced in the appellation area, are made with a single grape variety.
Loire Valley Wine region is famous for its world class wines. 52% of the wine production is for white wines, 26% concerns red wines, 16% for rosé wines and 6% for sparkling wines. Also, the region is the second producing region of rosé wines of appellation in France.
Lots of vineyards offer tours and tastings and it is famous for its wine route.The wine route of Loire valley, which is the longest wine route gives you the possibility to discover the great diversity of the wine region and its vineyards listed in UNESCO Heritage List as an outstanding cultural landscape.
Don’t forget to explore it’s historic towns with fairytale châteaux.
More than 2000 years of history
Planted more than 2000 years ago, the vineyard around Nantes is the oldest of the Loire Valley. In fact, the Romans were the first to grow vines in this area. Then, the 5th century was the beginning of the Loire Valley viticulture whose trade was facilitated through the Loire river. Over the years, the wine region increased its visibility thanks to the French and English crowned heads who encouraged people to discover these lovely wines.
From the devastation to the renowned
The freezing winter of 1709 caused a considerable loss for the vineyards of the Loire Valley.
In addition to this, the French Revolution and the phylloxera crisis had devastating effects on the vineyard.
After these events, winegrowers from the Loire Valley rebuilt the vineyard and decided to focus on quality production. It is the birth of the well-known appellations of the wine region.
Full of diversity- Five Wine Regions of Loire Valley
The Loire Valley has great diversity and it is further diveded in several distinct wine regions, each with its own characteristic grapes, appellations and styles
Pays Nantais and Fiefs Vendéens region
Close from the Atlantic Ocean, the wine region of Nantes is the beginning of the Loire river. It extends over 15.000 hectares and comprises different types of grape varieties. This region is renowned for the appellation Muscadet, a dry white wine made from Melon de Bourgogne grape variety, which gives unique aromas to Muscadet. It is great to pair with seafood.
Moreover, the appellation Fiefs Vendéens is a great success thanks to winemakers who make exceptional wines.
Prodigious land of sweet and dry white wines and authentic red wines, the Anjou-Saumur wine region offers a diversity of soils and microclimates.
Extending over 20.000 hectares, the vineyard comprises four main grape varieties.
White wines are mainly made with the grape variety Chenin Blanc
Red wines with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon
Rosé wines are mainly produced with the grape variety Grolleau.
These typical wines owe their uniqueness to the limestone-clay, tuffeau, and sandy soils.
Touraine wine region represents 12.000 hectares in the most diversify wine region of France, the Loire Valley.
Just like the Anjou-Saumur region, the Touraine wine region offers fine white and red wines. Besides prestigious red wine appellations such as Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, and Chinon whose Rabelais praised merits in the 16th century, It is also famous for Vouvray and Cheverny white wine appellations.
Orléanais – Centre Loire region
Located south of the Paris Basin, this region comprises around 6.000 hectares of vineyard extended from Orléans to the foothills of the Massif Central.
The region is mostly known for the appellations Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy, Reuilly, and Menetou-Salon. In fact, the diversity of limestone soils in the Centre Loire region give fine and aromatic wines. Furthermore, the semi-continental climate with microclimatic variations is ideal for the grape variety Pinot Noir which gives surprising red wines.
The wine region of Auvergne is the smallest of the Loire Valley, it extends over 2.000 hectares.
Moreover, it is part of the French vineyards dating from the Gallo-Roman era. Indeed, the Romans were the first one to plant the vineyard of this appellation.
Regarding wines, the production includes white, rosé and remarkable red wines. The grape variety Gamay, which composes these red wines, brings these specific characteristics to these.
Loire region is full of secrets just waiting to be discovered. Do not hesitate to get lost among the castles, vineyards, old towns and all these fabulous historical monuments thanks to the many experiences that will be offered to you.
The Historic City of Nantes
Full of history, Nantes is the largest city in the Loire Valley. A number of monuments tell a story of striking historical events which affected Nantes. Nantes has been cited as one of the cities with the best quality of life. In addition, the city is a key economic player for France.
Whether it is the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, Les Machines de l’Île, the Cathedral or the Passage Pommeraye and Le Lieu Unique, Nantes offers a diversity of monuments and activities combining pleasure and history. With family or friends, everything is possible in this city.
Tours – The City of Art and History
In the heart of the Loire castles road, the city of Tours is the place to live well and to enjoy delicious food. The Gallo-Roman city owns several food specialities paired with the finest wines.
On the historical side, Tours was the place where Kings stayed in the Renaissance. Also, in the following centuries, it was a safe place for the French Government. Actually, they found refuge in the city during the war in 1870 and the Second World War.
This part of history explains the number of castles around Tours. In addition to these incredible castles, there are many monuments to visit, like the Basilica Saint-Martin de Tours, the Cathedral Saint-Gatien and so on.
Orléans, A Former Royal City
Orléans had an unquestionable place in the history of France. Due to its strategic location in the Loire river, the city is the closest to Paris, this position explains the importance of Orléans in French history.
From Ceasar to Joan of Arc up to now, the city has a rich past which is visible through the several monuments with remarkable architecture. These are Campo Santo, Sainte-Croix Cathedral, Saint-Aignan Church and many others.
Spend a good time with the family or friends in the lovely city centre, walking in the gardens and around the streets. Visiting Orléans is an enriching experience.
The Sweetness of Living in Roanne
Roanne is the ideal place for a city break close to nature. The old city centre with South-colors buildings offers a pleasant walk through its streets.
The city is famous for its Gastronomy – here, you can find world world-renowned restaurants for its gourmet cuisine.
Roanne has a rich cultural heritage, surprising monuments and lovely places to visit. The covered market of the city awakens the taste buds, Saint-Michel des Lycées Chapel is a pleasure for the eyes just like Saint-Etienne Church. These are examples, there are many other things to do to have a good time in the city of Roanne.
Are you thinking about what to eat there?
This delicious cake has been invented around 1820 in the City of the Dukes, Nantes. At that time the quays of Nantes receive the delights such as sugar cane, amber rum and bourbon vanilla from the West Indies.
The recipe includes sugar, butter, flour, almond powder, eggs, and rum. This classic recipe is a safe bet as a dessert. Plus, the Nantais cake will be tastier if it is cooked the day before.
Loire Salmon With Sorrel
This legendary dish was invented by Pierre Troisgros in Roanne in the 1960s. Generally eaten from February to September, the recipe comprises fresh salmon fillet, fresh sorrel, shallots, crème fraîche, Vermouth and Sancerre wines, lemon, salt, and pepper.
Wine pair: the Loire salmon with sorrel goes well with young dry white wines from the Loire Valley. As for example, a Sancerre wine, Fiefs Vendéens Brem, Chinon or Saumur white wines.
Rillettes de Tours
A gastronomic specialty from Touraine, the Rillettes de Tours was created in the 15th century in the countryside of the region.
The main characteristic of rillettes is that they have a golden colour with a frayed texture. In fact, this is due to the long cooking of the noble pork meat in lard. Traditionally, rillettes is flavoured with Vouvray wine and served in pots, they are savoured by being placed with a fork on a slice of bread.
The andouille of Charlieu
Dating back to several centuries, this recipe is made of pork marinated in red wine, herbs, and spices during few days. After that, the meat is put in a pork casing and parboiled then refined for several days.
They recommend it to try it oven-baked together with sliced potatoes, onions, a hint of garlic and pepper. During the cooking time moisten the andouille with white wine.
Bellow, you will find more information about tourism in the region :
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Map of Wineries in Loire Valley wine region
Discover the long wine tradition of Loire Valley and discover some of the best wineries in this region
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