300 kilometres separate the cities of Blois and Nantes. With the Loire linking them, numerous terroirs and appellations coexist (Vouvray, Chinon, Saumur-Champigny, Coteaux de Layon, Muscadet, etc.), thus forming the third largest vineyard in France, with hundreds of cellars on the Loire wine route.
The steps of our Loire Wine Route :
All it takes is a simple tour in the touristic cellars of Touraine so that visitors can know and appreciate all the diversity of the wines of the Loire, whether they are sparkling or still , white, red, rosé, dry, semi-dry or soft.
Among the reds, Cabernet Franc reigns supreme at the west of Tours for the AOC of Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Chinon. It is a perfect match for soil and climate, confirmed by American wine tourists who do not hesitate to cross the Atlantic to knock on the doors of our wineries.
In the east, the range of grape varieties is expanding: although Cabernet is always there (alone or in mix), you can also taste Gamay and Pinot Noir wines, but above all, wines from the Côt variety, which is starting to carve out a beautiful place under the Loire sun.
Do not hesitate to do the Loire wine route by bike, in order to appreciate the great beauty of its landscape more closely! Throughout it, you will have the opportunity to follow the last great wild river of France, with its shores and sandy islands, its vineyard-covered slopes, its typical towns and villages, its gastronomy and its unique atmosphere. The road ends at the Atlantic estuary of the Loire… with a breathtaking landscape!
Among the main cities in Loire that you can visit there is: Tours, Touraine, Nantes and Sancerre.
Its landscape is dominated by majestic silhouettes: concentrated on an area of less than 100 km, Touraine is home to some of the largest castles of the Loire; Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Villandry, Clos Lucé, Chinon, Langeais, Accommodation… these places are imbued with the memory of Leonardo da Vinci, and remain inseparable from the history of France and its kings. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the troubled Middle Ages and stunned by a sumptuous period of the Renaissance… and our road doesn’t even end here! With about fifty castles to visit, Touraine certainly doesn’t lack beautiful places to see.
It is also not by chance that Touraine is called the “garden of France”; it is a true garden where fruits of all kinds are cultivated. The region is also known for its Saffron, truffles, rillettes and goat cheese. Be sure to visit the markets, where fresh products and beautiful atmospheres are always on the menu!
It is also in Touraine that you can let your hearts beat… with a glass of wine in your hand, surrounded by sumptuous castles or even by unspoiled beaches on the banks of the Loire River, this could be the perfect time for a wedding proposal, a honeymoon, or even vow renewals … cheers!Learn more
Located around the towns of Angers and Saumur, Anjou-Saumur corresponds to the greater part of the Loire Valley.
On the one hand, Anjou is best known for its large Chenin Blanc appellations (sometimes with some Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc), especially Savennières and Coteaux du Layon. The rosé made in this region is also recognizable by its sweetness.
On the other hand, Saumur is best known for its sparkling white and rosé wines of traditional method. It also includes the Saumur-Champigny appellation, which produces beautiful reds from Cabernet Franc.Learn more
Nothing like Nantes area! Located around the city of Nantes, on the west central coast of France, the region covers an area of about 90 km from east to west, between Anjou and the nearby Atlantic coast. Its vineyards specialize in the styles of crisp, light white wines, the most famous of which is undoubtedly Muscadet. Muscadet wines are produced under several different names, including the most famous (and most prolific) Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine.
But the Nantes region is not limited to Muscadet. It is no coincidence that Nantes was named by Time magazine as the most habitable city in Europe in 2004; it has been known for countless years as the Venice of the West for its dominant waters. The Loire crosses the center of the city, and the Erdre, tributary of the Loire, also crosses Nantes; it is reputed to be one of the most beautiful rivers in France and is the theatre of romantic cruises.
Nantes is full of interesting restaurants, bars, bistros and cafes, as one would expect in a city of this size. Apart from Muscadet, the region’s vineyards produce wines such as Gros Plant, which is excellent with fish and seafood. Try oysters with Muscadet… Nantes curé cheese is also heavenly with Muscadet.
Near the Passage Pommeraye and Place Royale, you will find the Maison des Vins de Loire, the Wine Centre of the Loire Valley, located in the former 'port des vins' of Nantes, where you can buy local wines from the Loire Valley.
Fish and seafood, whether from the Loire or the sea… are local specialities that you can never get tired of! By adding a little bit of white butter from Nantes, your taste buds will be delighted! Don’t forget to try Nantes cakes; cakes made with sugar, almonds, butter and West Indian rum.Learn more
The small town of Sancerre is clearly the most bucolic and archetypal village in France.
Located almost exactly in the center of the country, and perhaps because of this, Sancerre has been a French resistance center since the Middle Ages. The Huguenots withdrew during the religious wars and the Protestant reform. Again, during the French revolution, the village became a center of royalist rebellion in order to restore the French monarchy. During the Second World War, Sancerre became a regional command centre for the French resistance. After all of this, we can conclude that Sancerre takes its patriotism very seriously, hence the destiny of the Sancerre vineyards to produce high quality wines.
Sancerre is the most recognizable appellation of Sauvignon Blanc francais in the Loire Valley. Several other important appellations exist inside the Centre, including Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou-Salon, Reuilly and Quincy.
These appellations are also based on Sauvignon Blanc for their white wines, and as a result, many of these PDOs offer a style similar to that of Sancerre.
As the “spiritual home” of Sauvignon Blanc, the Centre generally offers some of the most flavourful and acidic expressions of grapes.
Inside the AOP of Sancerre, there is a small village known as Chavignol, world-famous for the manufacture of its small goat cheese buds called Chavignol dung. When they are young, they have a more chalky texture and a funky taste. As they age, they develop a dark grey patina and become richer in taste. If we’re mentioning goat cheese, it is because it goes perfectly with the wine of its region.
If you are visiting Sancerre, do not hesitate to combine wine and gastronomy!Learn more