A Loire Valley wine tour will certainly cover an immense array of topics including culture, history, architecture, lifestyle and how they intertwine with its long-lasting wine-making traditions.
The area between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of its breathtaking landscapes, its historic villages, its renowned architectural monuments, its world-famous vineyards and superb châteaux.
Along the 1,000-km of the Loire Valley wine route you will be gifted with unforgettable sights and warm encounters with the wine-makers of the region, who will generously share their savoir-faire, passion and fine wines with you.
There are Loire Valley wine tours for all tastes: you can bike down 200 km of cycle-friendly paths in Anjou (there are five shorter rides, ranging from 12 km to 34 km) to explore the vineyards; you can also drive along the Route Touristique du Vignoble or simply enjoy a relaxing pause amongst the vines. La Vallée de la Loire ranks first for the quality of its visitor services* and it is France’s leading region of establishments certified by the Vignobles & Découvertes (“Vineyards and Discoveries”) quality marker. A wine tour of Vouvray, Nantes or Sancerre is enough to indicate the incredible diversity of wines that the Loire Valley produces.
In addition to the expected Loire Valley wine tasting at the end of each tour, you will enjoy learning about the rich historic and cultural heritage of the area: the impressive troglodyte caves carved into the rock, perfect for maturing the Loire’s famous sparkling wines; the beautifully restored Moulin-Cavier de la Herpinière, a cellar-windmill on the vineyard plateau or Europe’s largest underground fortress in Brézé, where you can enjoy a Loire Valley wine tasting and delight on some of the wines produced at the namesake château. And of course, no wine tour of the Loire Valley would be complete without a visit to the stunning Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Fontevraud, where you will learn all you need to know about Saumur wines, including its renowned sparklings.
Even wine novices hope to get a taste of the finest white wines the region has to offer when they sign up for a Loire Valley wine tour. The perfect first stop is undoubtedly the sub-region of Central Loire, home to the two most celebrated Sauvignon Blanc appellations (AOC in French) of the valley: Sancerre AOC and Pouilly-Fumé AOC. Some wine tours in the Loire Valley include gourmet pairings, so get ready to taste the famous Crottin de Chavignol AOC, an intense goat cheese produced in Sancerre during your wine tour. Wine and cheese pairing perfection!
The other great white Loire Valley wine is Chenin Blanc, so if you prefer this cepage to Sauvignon Blanc, head down to Anjou and Saumur where you will be able to learn about and, more importantly, taste Chenin Blanc in all of its types: dry (Savennieres AOC), sweet (Bonnezeaux AOC or Coteaux du Layon AOC, among others) and sparkling (there are many options for incredibly balanced Crémant de Loire or Saumur sparklings).
Make sure your Loire Valley wine tour includes a stop in Saumur and Anjou to try some of the best Cabernet Franc wines in the area (Saumur-Champigny AOC) and indulge in the local fouace -flatbread baked in a traditional oven, with a glass of Anjou red. A wine tour of the Chinon region is a must to try the sultry red wine Loire Valley has to offer.
No matter which way you choose to visit the Loire Valley: whether you are an avid cyclist, you prefer to drive around or leisurely stroll among the vines, the region has plenty of incredible sights (and wines!) to unveil for you. Take part in a unique experience and enjoy a Loire Valley wine tasting in an ancient troglodyte dwelling, learn about Joan of Arc’s legacy or marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Make the most of your trip to the area by planning a customized wine tour in the Loire Valley: do some research before-hand to know which châteaux will be open during your holiday, choose the ones that best suit your interests and book in advance to avoid disappointing surprises on the day of your visit. If you prefer to profit from expert help not to miss out on anything, a local travel agency is your best ally to ensure you get to see all you dream of and more!