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Wine region in a nutshell: Loire

In this blog series, we introduce you to the most beautiful regions in the wine world. You will find the Loire in France at 'only' 9 hours' drive. Rolling river landscape, steep banks, green forests. And with the largest castle density in France, it's also fun for your children who are in the knights and princesses phase. With this blog you will be up to date in no time!
Chateau de Saumur in de Loire

Region and climate

The Loire Valley is a very narrow but elongated wine region. It starts about 200 km below Paris and ends 250 km further west in the Atlantic Ocean. Because it is so elongated, you will find different climates. These in turn provide a diversity of grape varieties and therefore a range of wine (styles). What all areas have in common is that it is relatively cool. Inland you will find a continental climate (hot summers, cold winters). Towards the coast you will find a maritime climate (mild summers, wet winters). This has traditionally been a particularly rich region. That is why it is full of the most beautiful castles and palaces. A very beautiful area!

White, white and more white

White grapes definitely predominate, with some blue here and there. First Sauvignon blanc. The wines vary from tight fresh with lots of citrus and apple aromas to nicely round due to sur lie maturation or maturation in wood. Grape number 2 is Chenin blanc. Made in different styles: dry and sweet, still and sparkling. Usually they are fresh with flavors of tropical fruits. Over the years, aromas of honey, toast and hay are added. If you look carefully, you can sometimes find a wine that you can keep for a long time.

The only major blue grape is the Cabernet franc. You often come across the term Chinon on those wines. It grows the most in that region. They are lighter red wines with aromas of black and red fruit. They can be a bit floral, and don't have too much tannin. Very accessible wine!

De Loirevallei. Kaart van Wine Folly

The wine regions

The Loire Valley seems nice and simple, but due to the old wine tradition, the area now consists of 63 appellations. We keep it simple for you, and walk down the river for you along the 4 main regions. At the origin of the river you will find Upper Loire, known for Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. They mainly make full-bodied Sauvignon blancs, which have often had lie aging. Further downstream you arrive in Touraine, also called 'the garden of France'. Well-known area here is Vouvray, where only Chenin blanc is allowed to grow.60% of all Vouvrays are sparkling (check our review!). Then you arrive in Anjou-Saumur. Often referred to together, but they are 2 regions of extremes. Anjou is best known for the Rosé d'Anjou;usually not too good sweet rosé. Fortunately, they also make very good Chenin blancs. Saumur comes off a little better with nice dry white wines and red Cabernet Franc. You end in Pays Nantais, around Nantes. Here you will find the freshest wines, mainly Sauvignon blanc.

What you really must have tasted... Muscadet! Grown in Pays Nantais, and a wonderfully fresh white wine. It is made from Melon de Bourgogne, where the grape also comes from. Because, in 1709, most of the vines around Nantes froze. Winegrowers then planted the Melon from Burgundy, because it can withstand cold very well. Seen as 'below average' in Burgundy, but a big hit in the Loire! Delicious with shellfish, because the Melon grows on limestone soil and has fresh acidity.Bon appetit!

Want to try?We reviewed the Château de l'Hyvernière that you can buy at Vinify!

And do you want to go on holiday to the Loire? Then read the book Frankrijk Binnendoor: Loire.

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