France’s Loire Valley is renowned for producing an exhausting range of wines that cater for practically every taste, including crisp whites, refreshing roses, fruit laden reds, and even sweet and sparkling varieties.
The so-called ‘Garden of France’ also happens to be the most picturesque of all the country’s wine growing regions – where vineyards share the beautiful rural countryside with quaint villages and magnificent medieval castles.
The Loire Valley wine region, which rests between Cognac, Normandy and Burgundy – three of France’s most notable regions associated with alcoholic drinks, can be separated into three distinct growing regions:
The Lower Loire, which covers the Pays Nantais, leads to the mouth of the river’s entrance at the Atlantic Ocean and is dominated by white wines from the Melon de Bourgogne grape – producing bracing, citrus flavours with sea faring undertones. Muscadet is the largest AOC appellation in this area, crafting all of its dry white wines of the same name that are less expensive than many Loire Valley wines and generally regarded as ‘quaffable’.
Acclaimed for its breathtaking natural beauty, the Middle Loire is spread across the towns of Angers and Tours in land where Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc reign supreme . The Anjou region here is noted for its rose wines, which account for around half of the total production. Nearby, Saumur, meanwhile, is home to some of the finest sparkling varieties outside of Champagne. The appellations of Vouvray, Chinon and Touraine are also renowned for producing quality Loire Valley wines, including Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc whites as well as red styles using Cabernet Franc – known as Breton in this rea.
The Upper Loire is the smallest region, which is famed for its Sauvignon Blanc from the appellations Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume; two towns that sit on opposite sides of the Loire river. Pouilly-Fume only produces white wines while Sancerre also makes reds and roses primarily using Pinot Noir grapes.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise Loire Valley wine tours across the entire region, including elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, fine dining experiences and some unique activities. Among these is our Loire Valley Wine Experience, which visits two of the region’s most stunning castles – the Chateau de Chenonceau and the Chateau de Chambord – for guided tours either side of a wine tasting and lunch at Les Caves Duhard. Another way of experiencing the region and its UNESCO awarded landscapes is during a private cruise of the Loire Valley and wine tasting that takes you down the river to the domaine of Montcy in Cheverny where you can sample a range of premium Loire Valley wines including the sparkling Cremant de Loire.
Chinon is one of the most visited appellations in the Loire Valley wine region and our Private Chinon and Rivau Experience takes in the picturesque medieval town as well as visits to several wineries and a gourmet meal with wine pairings at the Chateau du Rivau, a beautifully restored French Renaissance castle in the heart of Tourraine.
All of our private tours can be tailor made to meet your exact requirements so that you can relax and revel in one of the most diverse collections of wines that France has to offer.
If you're interested in one of our Loire Valley Wine Tours, please visit this link.
Get all our exclusive travel inspiration and tour packages straight to your inbox!