A Look at the Loire

Wine in Provence talks Loire Valley Wines

Let’s take a quick look at the Loire Valley, one of France’s wine regions that doesn’t get enough love.

-Situated off the Altantic coast on Loire River

-Located southwest of Paris, it is the historic country escape for French kings and nobility. There are over 300 chateaux in the region

-Continental climate with cool, frost-prone springs and rain in the fall…helps for development of Botrytis for dessert wines

-185,000 acres of vineyards, which is 2/3 the size of Bordeaux

-87 appellations (AOC, VDQS, Vin de Pays)

-Major Appelations: Muscadet, Anjou-Saumur, Chinon, Vouvray, Touraine, Sancerre

-Chenin blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne), Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Gamay are the major varietals

-Cremant de Loire – sparkling wine made from Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. 2nd largest producer in France of sparkling wine besides Champagne

-Sweetness Levels: sec (dry), demi-sec (off-dry to semi-sweet), and moelleux and doux (sweet wines)

-Characteristics of wine: high acidity highlights the fresh, crisp, citrus flavors, herbaceous, mineral notes