Wine Region: Loire Valley, France

The Loire Valley extends about 1,000 kilometers along the Loire River in the northwest part of France. The region produces predominantly white wines from the grapes: Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Melon de Bourgogne. The limited amount of red wines are all produced using the grape Cabernet Franc.

Famous regions in Loire Valley include Sancerre & Pouilly-Fumé which both product wines from the Sauvignon Blanc grape and are known for their minerality and limestone flavors. The Anjou, Vouvray and Touraine are known for their white wines made with Chenin Blanc.

The Chinon and Bourgueil regions produces only reds from the Cabernet Franc grape (locally the grape is known as Breton). The wines from this region can achieve a nice purple color with notes of raspberry fruit and graphite.

The Muscadet (pronounced ‘MUS-kuh-day) region is known for producing both distilled Brandy and dry white wines from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. It is worth noting that the Muscadet region is not related in any way to the Muscat (aka Moscato) grape.

Located about 90 miles from Paris, the Loire Valley was a popular place for French nobility to build vacation homes. Today there are over 300 châteaux (castles) along the river – one of the most impressive is Chambord which has 440 rooms and 84 staircases.

Wine Examples:

tonnell  2014 Tonnellerie – Sancerre Blanc

pouilly-fume  2013 Pouilly-Fumé – La Moynerie

bourgueil  2014 Domain des Ouches – Bourgueil Rouge.

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