The garden of France

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Hobson’s Choice -

The Loire Val­ley is ar­guably one of the pret­ti­est ar­eas of France. Sit­u­ated to the North­west of the coun­try, this re­gion has well in ex­cess of 300 chateaux and parks to wan­der around. In fact the Loire Val­ley is known as the ‘ Garden of France’.

Wines from this re­gion are some of the finest in the world and nearly all types of wine can be found here, from fresh zingy whites and sparkling wines to fruity roses and full bod­ied reds. Fa­mil­iar names in­clude Chi­non, Vou­vray, Mus­cadet and Rose d’An­jou .

The Loire Val­ley is split into three main wine grow­ing re­gions. The most west­ern is known as Pays Nan­tais, where you will find one of the world’s most fa­mous white wines, Mus­cadet. Un­usu­ally, the Vil­lage of Mus­cadet is named af­ter the grape va­ri­ety rather than giv­ing a wine its name from its place of ori­gin.

The sec­ond wine pro­duc­ing re­gion is known as An­jou, Touraine and Sau­mur. Slightly more in­land and cen­tred around the fab­u­lous city of Tours, the wines from here are pre­dom­i­nantly white or rose. Rose d’An­jou is a pop­u­lar choice and is light enough to suit al­most all palates.

The third re­gion is known as the Cen­tral Loire. Some of France’s best wines come from here and the most fa­mous are Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.

With such a wide va­ri­ety of wine coming from the Loire Val­ley there is a per­fect match for any oc­ca­sion or type of food.

For an aper­i­tif try a bone dry Sancerre or sparkling Vou­vray. In fact some of the re­gions sparkling wines give even the most fa­mous Cham­pagnes a run for their money. If you are hav­ing a quiet night in on the sofa treat your­self to a glass of the full bod­ied reds of Chi­non or Bourgeuil.

John Simper

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