Temperature, rainfall and average sunshine time in Angers (Anjou): With over 185,000 acres (750 km2) planted under vine, the Loire Valley is about two-thirds the size of the Bordeaux wine region. The Cabernet franc based wines are also lighter in color with more vegetal or "weed"-like aromas. How is a wine region as emblematically north as the Loire Valley capable of producing serious red wines? , For years the Touraine region would compete with the Beaujolais region for the release of an early bottling of Gamay that would rival the Beaujolais nouveau. By the 5th century, the flourishing viticulture of the area was noted in a publication by the poet Sidonius Apollinaris. Meet the 10 red grape varieties in the Loire Valley: the popular Cab Franc, Gamay, and Pinot Noir; blending partners such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Meunier. A famous white wine from this area of the Loire Valley is the Chenin Blanc which is also produced in Chinon. 1 (1853) France. Popularity of Loire Valley wines with sommeliers and wine writers has been growing steadily for the last ten years because for all their variety, Loire Valley wines share important characteristics that make them perfect for contemporary taste. However the best made examples in top vintages can often live much longer. MerNah? Cabernet Franc is an important red wine grape variety in the Anjou. The villages of Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur are known for their Cabernet franc based wines that range from light and fruity in Saumur to rich and velvety in Chinon. The most common hazard is that the cool climate will prevent the grapes from ripening fully and developing the sugars needed to balance the naturally high acidity of the grapes. For a long time, many people thought Cab Franc came from Bordeaux. With more vines competing for the same limited resources in the soil, the density is designed to compensate for the excessive yields that some of the grape varieties, like Chenin blanc, are prone to have. Sancerre, Loire Valley, France. Pouilly-Fumé only produces white wines while Sancerre produces red, white and rosé wines. This page was last edited on 29 December 2020, at 15:34. , The Muscadet region is located at the westernmost edge of the Loire Valley near the city of Nantes. The Chinon AOC along the banks of the River Vienne mostly produces red wines with the cabernet franc as its primary grape. Some of the higher quality wines are often labeled with the AOC designation Anjou-Villages. The Loire Valley wine region includes the French wine regions situated along the Loire River from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the region of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé just southeast of the city of Orléans in north central France. When grown properly (yield controlled, canopy managed, yada-yada), she can produce some expressive and fresh light reds. Chinon and Bourgueil. It also produces an excellent red Anjou made from Cab Franc. Foreigners aren’t the only ones who have a difficult time understanding French wine. , The area around Chinon, Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil produces the majority of the Loire Valley's red wine based on the Cabernet franc grape—known in this areas as Breton. , Climatology from 1947 to 2008 - Angers, France, "Didier Dagueneau Dies in Aircraft Crash at 52", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Loire_Valley_(wine)&oldid=997001624, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Located in the most diverse wine … 2006 Domaine André Dezat Sancerre Rouge 12.5%vol, France (£13.95; Berry Bros & Rudd). Meet Grolleau Noir, a dark berry that is widely planted, rather productive, and commonly used in rosé and red blends in Loire. Wines from appellations such as Chinon and Bourgueil are considered to be the benchmark for this distinctive red grape. IGP is the way to go for 100% varietal examples, and the only AOP that allows Merlot in the blend is Haut-Poitou just south of Chinon. ”Cabernet" is derived from "carbon", meaning black... a nod to its dark berries. For a survey of Loire Valley reds, check out the lineup of wines produced at Domaine des Grandes Espérances, situated in the heart of Touraine. When they conquered Gaul in the 1st Century AD, they recognized the climate and soil were perfect for vines and that the river made a convenient “roadway” to move goods throughout the empire. The Upper Loire includes the Sauvignon blanc dominated areas of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. The area around Saumur-Champigny produces red wine based on the Cabernet franc grape that is similar in profile to the wines produced in St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. Unlike Cabernet franc from warmer climates, Chinon are typically served slightly cooler than most red wine. , Archaeological evidence suggest that the Romans planted the first vineyards in the Loire Valley during their settlement of Gaul in the 1st century AD. Vineyard Location: This appellation encompasses twenty communes in Maine-et-Loire (28 for white Saumur), nine in Vienne, […] Quick and Easy Guide to Loire wine. Nor its rich earthy reds made from Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Despite the inference of "Muskiness" in its name, Muscadet is a neutral flavor wine and the Melon de Bourgogne grape has no relation to the Muscat family of grapes. As Loire authority Richard Kelley MW described, “once tasted, never forgotten.” This feisty lady is so quintessentially Loire, she comes from the Loire and she never wanders outside of her hometown. The Loire is France's longest river and vineyards run along its length. And we know just where to go to enjoy the finest examples of each and every one, so book your SmoothRed … This create wines that can be very cloudy and require decanting to remove sediments but also produces wines that can be fuller bodied and show extra dimensions of freshness. Wishlist + Favourites + £9.99-+ Add to basket. The Loire Valley is often divided into three sections. In Ontario, grolleau can be found on some restaurant’s wine list. Bourgueil can be the beefiest, longest-living Loire red of all while the lighter St-Nicolas de Bourgueil is even more rarely seen outside its own parish. This variety is characterized by a layer of white hairs on the underside of leaves that look like a dusting of flour, hence the name Meunier, French for “miller”…. The Lower Loire that leads to the mouth of the river's entrance to the Atlantic goes through the Muscadet region which is dominated by wines of the Melon de Bourgogne grape. In recent times, pruning and canopy management have started to limit yields more effectively. For red wines there has been more emphasis on extending the maceration time of skin contact in order to bring out more color and tannins into the wine. Another possibility for the name is the early morning fog created by the Loire river that can blanket the vineyards. That said, varietal examples is very popular in southwestern France, where she provides a stylistic contrast to the other dark-skinned variety of the region, Tannat. The Loire Valley itself follows the river through the Loire province to the river's origins in the Cévennes but the majority of the wine production takes place in the regions noted above.  The Loire Valley has a long history of winemaking dating back to the 1st century. WHITE / ReD / rosé WINES. Wines labeled with just Pouilly or Pouilly-sur-Loire are often made from the Chasselas grape.  Spread out across the Loire Valley are 87 appellations under the AOC, VDQS and Vin de Pays systems. The Loire Valley, arguably the northernmost wine region of France, is home to grapes that are especially good at thriving in cooler climates. Made from the best Cabernet Franc grapes, SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY is a pure, direct, exuberant red wine from an appellation where the growers are go-ahead and united in their commitment to quality. Enter Code SPEND60 for 5% off orders over £60, or SPEND100 for 10% off orders over £100! The Loire has long been famous for its classic Sauvignon Blanc, some of the world’s best. Loire Valley - The Loire is a tremendous region offering the wine lover great diversity. The two major grape varieties of the Anjou are Chenin blanc, known locally as Pineau de la Loire, which is used for dry, sweet, still and sparkling wine and Cabernet Franc which is used mostly for rosé and still red wines. Having been destroyed by phylloxera at the end of the 19th century, the vineyards were replanted with Sauvignon, a grape particularly well-suited to the region’s soil and climate. Red wine. PRESS . The Wine Cellar Company. All red wines from Sancerre, Reuilly, and Menetou-Salon are 100% Pinot Noir. ... Burgundy, and Bordeaux. As we’ve already mentioned, … Saumur-Champigny – red wine; Saumur mousseux – sparkling; Anjou AOC – Anjou produces many of the Loire Valley’s sweet wines made from Chenin Blanc. The wines from this region can achieve a nice purple color with notes of raspberry fruit and graphite. In the High Middle Ages, the wines of the Loire Valley were the most esteemed wines in England and France, even more prized than those from Bordeaux. While the competition is not so much of a focal point now, there are still some producers who release early bottlings of the wine around the same time as Beaujolais. These include the Tressallier grape of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, the Romorantin of Cheverny, the Menu pineau and Groslot of Touraine and the Gros Plant of Nantes. , The Loire river has a significant effect on the mesoclimate of the region, adding the necessary extra few degrees of temperature that allows grapes to grow when the areas to the north and south of the Loire Valley have shown to be unfavorable to viticulture. While most Pinots are planted in the eastern stretch of Loire, some can be found in the Lower Loire, too (I KNOW!!!). Then, she plays a supporting role in the red blends in Anjou Village, Bourgueil, and Chinon, adding black fruits, acid, tannins, and structure to the local cuvées. The Loire's most famous reds, Chinon, Bourgueil and St-Nicolas de Bourgueil, are made to the same recipe as Saumur-Champigny, indeed Chinon is virtually an eastern extension of it. Skip to main content . The Lower Loire that leads to the mouth of the river's entrance to the Atlantic goes through the Muscadet region which is dominated by wines of the Melon de Bourgogne grape. Read more. The Middle Loire is dominated by more Chenin blanc and Cabernet franc wines found in the regions around Touraine, Saumur, Chinon and Vouvray. On this note, I remember tasting some Meunier rosés from the Okanagan Valley (Canada).  Some classic examples of Vouvray can even reach the levels of longevity commonly associated with Port. Although mostly associated with red, Bordeaux also produces white wine. The climate can be very cool with spring time frost being a potential hazard for the vines. Charming examples can also be found in Auvergne (Upper Loire). The local name, Breton, was given to Franc when he came to the Loire via Brittany. The red Pinot noir wines are very light in both body and color that are not very similar to other French expression of the grape like those in Burgundy. Cab Franc is the Loire’s signature red grape, and these four appellations form the core of red wine making in the Loire. Many of the better made examples come out of this period with their full palate of flavors and can continue to age well into 20 years. By the Middle Ages, the Loire was at the heart of France. The Phylloxera epidemic of the 19th century altered that dynamic when many of the Pinot noir vineyards were wiped out by the louse. In areas where forests and hills protect the vineyards from cold winds, the aspects of vineyards allow for ample sunshine, and bodies of water regulate growing temperatures, we may find the perfect conditions for red grapes to ripen and transcend into brilliant and expressive wines. In between are the regions of Anjou wine, Saumur, Bourgueil, Chinon, and Vouvray. In his work the History of the Franks, Bishop Gregory of Tours wrote of the frequent plundering by the Bretons of the area's wine stocks. Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) This is the Loire grape par excellence. There are two generic designations that can be used across the whole of the Loire Valley. With Crémant production throughout the Loire, it is the second largest sparkling wine producer in France after Champagne. In addition to finding vineyards along the Loire, several of the river's tributaries are also well planted-including the Allier, Cher, Indre, Loir, Sèvre Nantaise and Vienne Rivers. , Unlike many areas of France, the Sancerre region is heavily mechanized with the use of mechanical harvesting rather than hand pickers. Discover the friendly, diversity, fresh and fruity wines of France and explore the region they come from. Like most of the vineyards of France, we can thank the Romans for getting things started. Have you ever had one that blew your mind? Temperature control is also an important consideration with the cold autumn weather sometimes requiring that the must be heated in order to complete fermentation fully.  In the 19th century, the wines of the Chinon area were compared favorably by critics to the wines of Château Margaux and even today is considered some of the best expression of the Cabernet franc grape. Now let's go snack on a Loire Pinot and don't forget to serve it slightly chilled. MerYah! One of the best known producers in the region is Didier Dageneau who, until his death in 2008, was an influential voice in the area advocating the reduction of yields and the use of organic viticulture. Saumur is an appellation in the Loire Valleycreated in 1936 for red,rose,and white wines from 31 communes around the town of that name.The Saumur Mousseux appellation was created for sparkling wines in 1976. Sauvignon Blanc. , The area around Saumur is the third largest sparkling wine appellation in France after the Champagne region and the Crémant d'Alsace AOC with more than 12 million bottles of Saumur Mousseux produced each year. The wines can vary in sweetness from bone dry (often appearing as sec on the wine label) to very sweet moelleux wines that are often infected by noble rot. In addition to still wines, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced. The region can be divided into three main areas: Muscadet, nearest the coast, is created from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. The key white-wine grape varieties used to make Loire Valley whites are Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne and, more popular than traditional, Chardonnay. The Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France refers to any varietally labeled wine, such as Chardonnay, that is produced in the region outside of an AOC designation. Often over-looked for red wines, parts of the Loire Valley are committed to the Cabernet Franc grape variety. Rich in the region’s famed tuffeau, this calcareous rock was quarried centuries ago, leaving perfect cellars for aging Saumur wines. 10 Red Grape Varieties in the Loire Valley 1. A life without Négret is a life not lived.In the Loire Valley, you may find this variety sprinkled in the red blends of the Fiefs Vendéens region just south of Le Pays Nantais. The villages of Vouvray and Montlouis are the largest appellations in the region and make only white wines from Chenin blanc. At the time, Sancerre produced a famous red wine made mainly from Pinot Noir and exported via the Loire; this often featured in the royal chronicles of the time. First, Cabernet Sauvignon is the principal variety in Cabernet d’Anjou rosé. Despite its northerly position, the Loire Valley is a mosaic of different terroirs and climats. The rosé wines are made from an assortment of Gamay, Pineau d'aunis, Pinot gris and Pinot noir. Perfectly ripe, well balanced and refined Find out more. … each highlighting Loire’s diversity and unique personas. The wines of the Chinon area are the softest and rich expression of the grape while the Bourgueil area produces more tannic and firm wines. For a long time, many people thought Cab Franc came from Bordeaux. Alsace Amarone Argentina Australia Barbera Batasiolo Bordeaux Burgundy Cabernet Sauvignon Chardonnay Chile d'Arenberg E Guigal Faiveley France Germany Italy Joseph Drouhin Lafite Loire Louis Jadot Malbec Marchesi Di Barolo Masi Merlot Montes Alpha Moscato Nebbiolo New Zealand Others Penfold Pinot Gris Pinot Noir Pio Cesare Prosecco Rhone Riesling Sangiovese Sauvignon Blanc Shiraz … However some winemakers have begun experimenting with both. There is Gamay beyond Beaujolais, where the grape is the most known for. 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