The garden of France
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.