Val de Loire Wine

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It is undeniable that France is the cradle of wine. The vineyards of the Loire Valley constitute the third wine region by extension and production after Bordeaux and Burgundy. Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Gamay de Saint-Pourçain, Melon de Bourgogne, Sauvignon and Chasselas are the main grape varieties of the area.

The red wines of the Loire, such as Saumur-Champigny, Chinon and Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, are exceptional and of great quality. And among the whites, those of Sancerre and Smoked Pouilly, or Muscadet, are remarkable.

The vineyards of this area are located in a region bathed by the Loire River. It has a wide range of wines: dry, semi-dry, sweet and even fortified white wines, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Burgundy melon. But also their light red wines are well known, made with the Cabernet Franc grape. In addition, rosé and sparkling wines are also produced.

We can also talk about the sweet wines of the Loire, to which alcohol is not added to stop the fermentation. The varieties depend on the regions, which are numerous, where each wine is made. Their denominations of origin are:

Vineyard of Anjou blanc or rouge, with the following denominations: Anjou, Anjou-gamay, Anjou-villages and Anjou Villages Brissac, Cabernet d'Anjou (a lightly sweetened rosé, unique in France in AOC); Bonnezeaux vineyard, semi-sweet white; Chaume vineyard, semi-sweet white. The Coteaux du Layon Chaume has its own denomination; the vineyard of Coteaux-de-l'Aubance, fortified white; also the vineyard of Coteaux-du-Layon, white fortified, which presents a generic denomination that has in turn communal names. The Coteaux-de-la-Loire vineyard presents the AOC Anjou Coteaux de la Loire, which is a local AOC. It has 50 hectares that extend over 9 municipalities. The average production is 1,500 hl and the yields are 38 hl/hectare.

One way to classify these wines is by zones. The Upper Loire would encompass the regions dominated by the sauvignon blanc such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé; The Middle Loire would be dominated by chenin blanc and cabernet franc, around the Touraine, Saumur, Chinon and Vouvray. Finally, the Lower Loire in Muscadet which is dominated by Melon de Bourgogne grape wines.

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