Loire is a French region renowned not only for its wine growing and gastronomy, but also for its famous castles and magnificent abbeys. Shaping this valley is France’s longest river (620+ miles), the Loire, which begins south of the Massif Central in the Southeast of France, and ends its long journey in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Brittany. The Loire River crosses some of France’s major cities, including Orléans, Blois, Tours and Angers.
Often referred to as “The Garden of France” and only several hours away from Paris, this beautifully lush corner of France served as an escape from Parisians’ day-to-day routine. In fact, many Parisians had a country house in the Loire Valley – hence the beautiful castles that still stand today – as it was a place where people would go on weekend getaways, to be surrounded by nature, relax and enjoy delicious food and wine away from the hustle and bustle of the busy capital. This, today, is still at the core of Loire Valley wines, which are refreshing, fruity and meant to be enjoyed in convivial moments with loved ones.
Great diversity among backdrops, soil composition and climate enable Loire’s portfolio to be one of the richest, most unique and complete selections of wines. Be they red, rosé or white; still or sparkling; dry or semi-dry, supple or sweet, Loire Wines rank among the very best vintages and enjoy great prestige.
- Loire Valley Wines versatility and diversity
- Loire river’s horizontal shape allows for a diversity of influences
- Production of several types of wines (red, white, rosé; sparkling white, sparkling rosé)
- Use of a large portfolio of grape varietals
- 79 AOC’s reflecting high quality standards
- Loire Valley Wines are accessible and friendly
- Many are single-varietal wines and easy to understand
- They can be easily paired with a wide array of foods
- Refreshing, lively and fruity qualities
- Affordability – average SRP for a bottle of Loire wine is $10-20
Loire: the only horizontal winegrowing region in France
The Loire wine-producing district is divided into 4 main growing regions arising along the Loire River, flowing west from the Central Vineyards through Touraine and Anjou-Saumur before reaching Pays Nantais on the Atlantic coast.
While most classic French wines come from blends, Loire Wines are generally pressed from a single varietal, allowing the terroir of each wine to be reflected purely through that wine and to become both noticeable and recognizable upon tasting. For example, a Chenin Blanc from Touraine area will feature very different aromas than one from Anjou area – despite both wines being produced from the same varietal, they taste different as they carry characteristics from their respective terroir. Loire Wines offer an incomparable selection through their colors (white, rosé, red), their types (still, sparkling) and sweetness levels (dry, semi-dry, supple, sweet).
FOCUS BY STYLE
Loire’s Whites: Renowned and revered throughout the world
With vineyards totaling 20,000 hectares, the Loire Valley is France’s largest white wine district. Offering varying degrees of residual sugars, Loire’s whites can be dry or semi-dry, supple or even sweet and they can even unveil a sparkling side.
- Chenin Blanc
- Sauvignon Blanc
Loire’s Reds: Fruitful, friendly and full of authenticity
Loire’s red varietals are grown in an area covering about 24,700+ acres. Mostly single-varietal, Loire’s reds are full-bodied, bold wines, beaming with authenticity, all the while staying fruit-forward and friendly.
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Côt (or Malbec)
- Pinot Noir
- Pineau d’Aunis (or Chenin Noir)
- Pineau Meunier
Loire’s Rosés: Light, fruity and seductive
Using various varietals and several different vinification processes, the Loire Valley offers without a doubt the widest selection of rosé styles of all French wine-producing regions. In fact, rosés represent a quarter of Loire’s production of AOC wines. That’s close to a total of 6 million cases per year overall, of which more than 2 million are Rosé d’Anjou and Rosé de Loire.
- Rosé de Loire is one of the AOC rosés that can be produced right across all the vineyard areas of Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. Unlike the other rosés which are slightly sweet, this is a dry wine very refreshing, light and easy-drinking.
- Rosé d’Anjou is the quintessential off-dry rosé. Its subtle balance between freshness and sweetness brings to mind the harmony of the Anjou landscape. It can be produced from any of the vineyards throughout Anjou, on gravelly soils, silica sands or limestone.
The main varietals used to produce rosés are: Grolleau, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay, Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.