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The wines of the Loire: diversity over the water

It is on of the longest river in France that extends the largest vineyard in the country. About a thousand kilometres, some 70,000 hectares of vineyards most thrive on the edge of the Loire and its tributaries. The Loire Valley and its great diversity of terroirs offer wines in three colors, including white. Red wines, rosé and sparkling wine are also with this same diversity that characterizes this great wine region.

General presentation

The vineyards of the Loire Valley follows the river and its tributaries, from its source in the Massif central to its mouth to the ocean in Loire-Atlantique. It covers so many wine regions: the Nantes and Fiefs vendéens, Anjou-Saumur, Touraine, the Orléanais and the Center and finally, Auvergne. Each of them has its own peculiarities.

The extended geography of the vineyard contributes to offer a wide variety of wines: dry white wines, semi-dry, mellow and sweet to start. They appeal mainly to the following varietals: chardonnay, white chenin and sauvignon, melon of Burgundy. The white wines of the Loire are distinguished by their freshness and their fruity notes.

On the side of the reds and roses, are the grape varieties cabernet franc, gamay, grolleau, pineau of Aunis, pinot noir and cot that dominate.

This diversity of products has a wide range of prices. Castles in areas of wine houses cooperatives, the references are not lacking. As, in recent years, many young winemakers are invited in this vast landscape and revitalise the vineyard.


The Loire Valley has two regional appellations:

  • The Loire crémant, produced on the areas of Anjou, Saumur and Touraine
  • The rose of Loire in Anjou and Touraine

(Very) many AOC then punctuate the landscape patrimony. Muscadet, Chinon, Saumur, Sancerre, Quincy, Reuilly... are part of the most renowned appellations in the Loire.

The vineyard

With its 70,000 hectares of vines, the vineyards of the Loire Valley covers a large production area, which extends over 4 main regions:

  • The Nantes
  • Anjou
  • The Touraine
  • The Center

The Nantes vineyards

This region extends mainly in Loire-Atlantique, in the South and East of Nantes. She is also on the Vendee and Maine-et-Loire. Are produced mainly dry white wines, whose best-known appellations Muscadet (melon) and Gros Plant (crazy white). Gamay reigns over the hillsides of Ancenis alongside cabernet, chenin white and pinot Grigio. On the side of the vendéen Fiefs (Mareuil, Brem, Pissotte and Vix), Assembly or varietal wines are produced in red, pink and white

Vineyards of Anjou-Saumur

In the wake of the Nantes, this vineyard extends mainly in Maine-et-Loire, with small incursions in Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. It is around the cities of Angers and Saumur are produced all types of wines: red, white dry and fluffy, pink, sparkling.

On the side of light, gourmet, red wines are cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc grapes that dominate. The AOC Anjou, Anjou Villages, Saumur-Champigny and Chinon are the main representatives.

Whites are available for their part in wine dry, tender, mellow or syrupy, which mainly involve the white chenin and sauvignon and chardonnay. Bonnezeaux, hillsides of the Aubance, Savennières, Coteaux de Saumur and Saumur part of the best-known AOC.

There are also pink, soft and aromatic, from wines for many varietals grolleau, cabernet and gamay. The main appellations are the Rose of Anjou and the Cabernet d'Anjou Cabernet de Saumur.

Finally, the vineyard produced sparkling wines, including the creaming of the Loire, the bubbles thin Anjou and the gross Saumur.

Vineyards of Touraine

At the heart of the famous castles of the Loire, this vineyard stretches around the city of Tours, between Blois and Saumur. All types of wines are produced on this territory, from a single grape variety or assemblies.

In red, is the cabernet franc which dominates; him alongside the gamay, pinot, pineau of Aunis, cot and grolleau. Chinon, Bourgueil, St.-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Cheverny... are worthy representatives.

The white wines are from white chenin, sauvignon and chardonnay grapes. Include Vouvray, Montlouis, court-Cheverny...

Vineyards of the Center

This region is at the heart of the vineyards of the Loire. It is very spotty and extends around Orléans, Bourges and South of Châteauroux. This vineyard is usually divided into three distinct sets:

  • Centre Loire, land of the sauvignon grape that gives birth to exceptional dry white wine: Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy, Reuilly... Gamay, pinot, cabernet sauvignon... to produce red wines deemed them too: Châteaumeillant, Menetou-Salon, Reuilly...
  • The Orléanais, where there are 3 AOC in 3 colors: Orléans Orléans-Cléry and hillsides of the confraternity
  • The Massif central, where the gamay and pinot noir for the reds and chardonnay, sauvignon and aligote for whites are grown. Roannaise coast, sides of Auvergne, Forez and Saint-Pourçain sides offer red, white and rosé wines.