Touraine, is known as the “Garden of France.” Touraine was where kings and nobles competed to outdo the magnificence of each other's châteaux at places like Chambord, Chennonceau, Azay-le-Rideau and Cheverny. The town of Chinon holds a place of honor in French history, as it was here, in 1429, that Joan of Arc persuaded King Charles VII to accept the French crown and defy the English, laying the foundations of the modern French nation. Rabelais, the great epicurean writer, was born here and never tired of praising the local wines, which include such famous names as Vouvray, made from Chenin Blanc and Chinon, Bourgueil and St Nicolas de Bourgeuil, all made from Cabernet Franc.
Loire365 Touraine Factoid
The Loire is the longest river in France, the last wild river in Europe, and has been designated a World Heritage area by UNESCO. For much of its 630 miles - from the mountains of central France to the coast of Brittany - the Loire is vineyard country. Total wine production makes up the third largest AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) viticultural area in France. It is France’s second largest region for sparkling wine and the leading region for white wine production. (Look for more Loire Valley "factoids" through the website.)