The Loire Valley
THE WINES OF THE LOIRE VALLEY
The Loire Valley is the heart of France, famous for its natural beauty, magnificent châteaux and great wine. The river Loire is the longest river (1.020 km) in France, rising in the southern Massif Central and flowing to the Atlantic Ocean. The four unique wine-growing regions are: Centre, Touraine, Anjou-Saumur and Nantais. Here you find the famous appellations of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Bourgueil, Chinon and Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. The Loire Valley is France’s most diverse wine region, both in terms of grape varieties and types of wine. It offers a diverse range of wine styles: white, rosé, red, sparkling, dry, off-dry and sweet wines.
See the regions below for our selected wine producers. Because we work as independent wine broker, we can select wines for your portfolio from multiple wineries. We negotiate the best price and work with transparent fees & pricing (commission-based). If we can help you to source a specific wine from the Loire Valley feel free to contact us.
SEAFOOD & DELICATE WINES
The Muscadet growing region lies at the far western reaches of the Loire Valley and is strongly influenced by the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Here crisp white Muscadet wines are made from the white grape variety ‘Melon de Bourgogne’. Muscadet is a classic pairing for oysters and works well with fresh fish and other seafood. More serious and also some age-worthy white wines are made from the 10 crus communaux (e.g. Clisson and Goulaine) of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine.
Recommended producers: Domaine de l’Epinay, Luneau-Papin, Domaine de la Pepière, Vignoble Drouard.
DOMAINE DE L’EPINAY (MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE)
The Paquereau family has been running Domaine de l’Epinay since the beginning of the 20th Century. In 2000, then 2006, Cyrille and Sylvain took the head of this 40 ha estate of which half is planted in Muscadet, with a small part on Clisson cru. The estate started converting to organic farming in 2011. The Paquereau brothers’ wines represent the new wave of Muscadets: crisp, thin, sharp but never hard. They are excellent examples of the diversity of Muscadet terroirs.
DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS
Around the medieval town of Angers and the city of Saumur you can find a lot of remarquable appellations such as: Savennières, Coteaux du Layon and Saumur Champigny. It is also home to many excellent producers of Crémant de Loire, a sprakling wine made using the ‘traditional method’ (the same method used for Champagne). Quarts de Chaume, an outstanding sweet wine from the Layon area, offers one of the world’s greatest expressions of Chenin Blanc.
Recommended producers: Domaine des Baumard, Vincent Ogereau, Nicolas Joly, Langlois-Chateau, Clos Rougeard, Antoine Sanzay.
CASTLES AND ‘TUFFEAU’
Touraine is at the very heart of the Loire Valley wine region. The appellation of Vouvray produces stunning expressions of Chenin Blanc, from dry to sweet wines. You can find fruity red wines produced from Cabernet Franc within the appelation of Chinon and Bourgueil. Tuffeau rocks from Touraine and Anjou-Saumur region were used to build the châteaux of the Loire Valley. Some of the remainig caves were converted into wine cellars that offer excellent conditions for the production and aging of sprarkling wine. Touraine is also home to some of the grandest Loire Valley castles such as Château de Chenonceau (built 1513-1517).
Recommended producers: Vincent Carême, Clos Naudin, Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Bernard Baudry, Couly-Dutheil, Charles Joguet.
FAMOUS NAMES: SANCERRE, POUILLY-FUME & MENETOU-SALON
White wines are made predominantly from Sauvignon Blanc. The finest expressions can be found in the appellations Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé (only white wines). Their soils are divided clearly into three main types: ‘Terres Blanches’ (Kimmeridgian marls soils that extends into Chablis), ‘Caillottes’ (means “little stones”, gravel with limestone) and ‘Silex’ (flint). Red and rosé wines are mainly made of Pinot Noir and/or Gamay.
Recommended producers: Domaine Dominique et Mallorie Pabiot, Didier Dagueneau, Bailly-Reverdy, Alphonse Mellot, François Cotat.
DOMAINE DOMINIQUE ET MALLORIE PABIOT (POUILLY-FUME)
Dominique and his daughter Mallorie are working together on the estate. Mallorie, whose father, Dominique, has founded in 1997 « Domaine Dominique Pabiot », grew up on the family’s vineyard estate where she spent time the way many children in winemaking families do: pruning vines in winter and picking grapes in fall. In 2017, she returned to her roots and joined her father’s estate. In 2018, Mallorie becomes the 6th generation to work on the estate. From this day, the “Domaine Dominique Pabiot” became “GAEC Dominique et Mallorie Pabiot.”
A COLLECTION OF USEFUL SITES ABOUT THE LOIRE VALLEY
source images | photo credit: loirevalleywine.com