Along the wine route
Legend has it that it was Saint Martin who first planted grape vines in Touraine in the 4th century. These first rows are still said to exist above the Marmoutier abbey, right on the outskirts of Tours. Regardless, the original idea has since spread, as you will quickly see if you are lucky enough to participate in one of the Loire valley wine tours during your trip to France! Touraine boasts a dozen AOC wines (Official French designation which guarantees the area from which the wine has come, the method by which it has been made), red wines (chinon, bourgueil, saint-nicolas-de-bourgueil, touraine…) and white wines (vouvray, montlouis-sur-loire, touraine sauvignon…). More information can be found on the website of the Vins de Loire wine growers: http://www.vinsvaldeloire.fr/en_en/
Sparkling or still, dry, semi-dry or sweet, tannic or more fruity, Touraine wines will delight you with their wide variety. These generous and authentic wines are the perfect complement to your meals: their personalities can be easily paired with your dishes. You won't be disappointed by Loire Valley wine tasting, both beginners and connoisseurs will appreciate the generous flavours of these wines.
Vines and landscapes
Beyond the quality of taste of their wines, Loire vineyards are also known for their beautiful landscapes. Whether they are located on a hillside or in the sandy soil of the alluvial plains, vineyards make for some stunning views. Explore them on the "Route touristique des vignobles", a marked route that winds along the 800 km span of the Loire Valley.
You can also explore vineyards by bicycle in Touraine, indeed the Loire cycling route (Loire à vélo) makes some remarkable forays into wine country: a twenty-kilometre stretch on the hillsides between Amboise and Montlouis-sur-Loire (AOC Touraine and Montlouis-sur-Loire), and another thirty-kilometre stretch around Chinon and the Véron peninsula (AOC Chinon). Ask for a Loire Valley map or Loire Valley guide at any tourist office to help you determine your route.
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