Wineries of the world’s most diverse vineyards
300 kilometres separate the towns of Blois and Nantes. With the Loire linking them together, many terroirs and appellations live side by side (Vouvray, Chinon, Saumur-Champigny, Coteaux du Layon, Muscadet, etc.), so forming the 3rd largest vineyard in France, with hundreds wineries on the Loire Valley wine route.
A short tour round the tourist wine cellars of Touraine gives visitors a very good idea of the full diversity of Loire wines: still or sparkling, whites, reds and rosés, sec, demi-sec or sweet.
Among the reds, the Cabernet Franc grape variety reigns supreme to the west of Tours for the AOCs of Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Chinon. It’s a perfect match for the soils and climate, borne out by the American wine tourists who don’t think twice about crossing the Atlantic to knock on the doors of our wineries.
To the east, the range of grape varieties is expanding: although Cabernet is still there (on its own or in a blend), you can also sample Gamay and Pinot Noir wines and, above all, wines produced from the Côt variety which is beginning to carve a nice place for itself under the Loire sunshine.
A wide choice of wineries and tastes along the Loire Valley Wine Route
Among the whites, wines produced from the Chenin grape variety accompany every moment of the meal: a dry Montlouis as an apéritif, a dry Vouvray with the crudités or seafood, a semi-dry Montlouis with sushi, white meat and ripe cheeses, and, of course, a sweet Vouvray for a fruit dessert. Not to mention Touraine Sauvignon and its exotic notes of citrus, the Grolleau grape variety of Azay-le-Rideau, blended or pressed rosés, blush wines (Noble-Joué)… each of the tourist wine cellars of the Loire Valley Wine Route will help you gain a better understanding of what is in your tasting glass, after having visited the vines, the barrel room and the famous troglodyte cellars.