Wine 101 - Loire Valley Wines

Exploring this underappreciated region


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Wine 101 - Loire Valley Wines The Loire Valley is one of the most exciting wine regions in France these days. Slow to be recognized and embraced by the world’s wine lovers, this extensive stretch of vineyard land that roughly follows the path of the Loire river is the source of some of the great values in the marketplace, not to mention the greatest expressions of Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne!

With so many grapes in play, not to mention regions, the Loire is also a bit of a confusing region, but it’s actually rather straightforward once you begin to break it down. So, without further ado, I present the Jardin de la France (vins de pays wines from the Loire Valley were once labeled with this evocative name, and today they are bestowed with the very clumsy Vin de Pays du Val de Loire.)

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  • Thank you for the wonderful overview of each region and their wines.
    Alsace & the Loire Valley are my 2 favorite French wine areas and I really enjoy learning more about them.

    Oct 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM

  • If you would like to try a special wine from this region, give one of Philippe Delesvaux white wines a try. They are amazing!!! He does a very good job with his reds but all of his whites are outstanding.

    Here's an article about him, his vineyard and his beautiful wife.

    Enjoy and find a bottle from this producer. You won't be disappointed.

    Oct 27, 2010 at 5:12 PM

  • Snooth User: duncan 906
    Hand of Snooth
    425274 2,083

    I enjoy these articles and find them informative but why do I have to click numerous times and why does it take sao long to download?

    Oct 28, 2010 at 6:58 AM

  • Snooth User: pcjams
    418221 1

    One correction is that Cabernet Sauvignon is permitted in to be used in wines issued from the AOC Bourgueil. Limitation is 10%.

    Oct 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 225,523

    Thank you for the correction. You are of course correct. In cutting, pasting and then editing the words got butchered a bit!

    Oct 28, 2010 at 10:17 AM

  • Snooth User: R Britto
    623630 1

    Very good material!
    But, lasted one simple question: Don't you like the Sancerre red wines?

    Rodrigo Britto.

    Oct 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

  • I'm from Newcastle in England, (hence my latin nom-de-plume) and visit France (one of my favourite countries) regularly in my touring caravan. I love the Loire but not the wines, apart from the Sancerre Sauvignon Blancs. But this article has opened my eyes a bit - Gregory certainly knows his stuff! In future I shall pay closer attention to some of the wines in this article, and who knows, I may like some - even the reds!

    Oct 29, 2010 at 6:09 AM

  • That was a bumper crop of information! Thank you, Gregory!

    Oct 31, 2010 at 11:51 AM

  • Snooth User: ChateauPT
    627691 2

    Great to see more recognition for our Loire Valley wines!
    We'd love to welcome any Snooth readers to the château on their next visits to the Loire Valley!
    We produce 100% Cabernet Franc wines near Chinon.
    Looking forward to welcoming you for a tasting!

    Château du Petit Thouars

    Nov 01, 2010 at 2:00 PM

  • Snooth User: La Setou
    619516 20

    I've just started my adventure with wine and I'm very thankful to you, for writing this text.
    Merci bien

    Nov 01, 2010 at 4:22 PM

  • People should enjoy one of the newest appellations in this area. It is located between Saumur and Anjou and is called Notre Dame. We stayed in this small hamlet with the same name as the appellation and visited one of the few wineries there, Domaine De La Paleine. We tasted over 15 wines and Sparkling wines mainly bases on Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. This was in early Oct of last year.

    Feb 07, 2011 at 6:18 PM

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