This year I was looking forwarding to sailing on a river cruise through Burgundy sipping on wine, enjoying good food, and exploring everything this region has to offer. Unfortunately my plans have been cancelled. In the meantime, I'm dreaming with my friend Betty about traveling to France at some point in the future instead. She's introduced me to a neighboring region in France with wines I'm not all that familiar with. I invited her to write a guest post so that you too could partake in this journey and learn more about the wines of the Loire Valley.
When I think of the Loire Valley, I immediately think of Chenin Blanc and Rosé. I know that if there’s Rosé in the Loire Valley, there’s got to be red wine there too. But truth be told, I can’t think of what red wine grows there. Time to do a little Google research to figure things out. Thank you to LoireValleyWine.com, WineFolly.com and WineTraveler for their help with this article.
The Beauty of the Loire Valley
This writeup from Fodors is so beautiful that I had to share it. “A fairy-tale realm par excellence, the Loire Valley is studded with storybook villages, time-burnished towns, and—bien sûr—the famous châteaux de la Loire. These postcard staples, like Chenonceau and Chambord, seem to be strung like pearls across a countryside so serene it could win the Nobel peace prize.” Oh boy, do I want to go there!
When You Think of Loire Valley, Think of Fruity White Wines
The bulk of the wine produced in this region is white. The region is known for its fruity-style whites. According to WineTraveler.com, “Regardless of whether you’re sampling a sweet, botrytis derived dessert wine, or a classically produced dry Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, there’s no doubt that the dominant aroma and flavor on your tongue will be comprised of citrus, tree and or stone and tropical fruit. It’s this distinct fruity flavor and aroma that attracts hundreds of thousands of wine consumers vintage after vintage.”
More Details on Loire Valley Wine
The Loire Valley is in the northwest of France and is France’s most diverse wine region, actually containing five wine regions, each with many appellations (87 in total!):
An Interesting Factoid About Vouvray
The chenin blanc produced here is so high in acidity that some of the wines have been known to age as long as 100 years. Is that unbelievable? This past weekend, I got to taste a 52-year-old French wine that was well past its prime. Boy, would I love to try a 100-year-old wine that is still good. Wouldn’t you?
What Is Crémant?
After a lot of evolution, Crémant is now the term used to describe French Sparkling Wines not made in the Champagne region of France. At one point, Crémants were thought to be creamier than Champagne. But that isn’t the case any longer. Crémant is not restricted to the three Champagne grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
I would love to hear about your experiences with Loire Valley wine, especially if you tasted it in France. Santé!
by Betty Kaufman
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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