Welcome to the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley lies at the geographical and cultural heart of France. The Loire is the longest river in France and the last wild river in Europe. It rises in the south, not far from the Mediterranean coast and empties into the Atlantic Ocean in the northwest of the country. Along the way, it flows through France’s longest and most diverse wine region.
Loire Valley wines include 65 appellations that include every style of wine – red, white, rosé, still, Sparkling, sweet, dry and everything in between. But whatever the style, the Loire Valley is as French as France gets. In fact, Loire Valley wines are the most popular wines ordered in restaurants in France.
Loire Valley wines are made from more than a dozen different grape varieties and include definitive expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne and Cabernet Franc. There is also excellent Pinot Noir, Gamay and Malbec, as well as little known but delicious Romorantin, Pineau d’Aunis and Grolleau.
One reason for this diversity is the size of the Loire Valley. The vineyards grow along a 300 mile stretch of the river, so there are several distinct climates and a wide variety of soils that divide the Loire Valley into 5 distinct regions, each with its own characteristic varietals and wine styles.