Wines and the Sub regions of The Loire Valley

Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wines and the Sub regions of The Loire Valley

Unlike other French regions, the Loire Valley does not have regional AC classifications. They do, however, have Vin de Pays classification (Vin de Pays du Val de Loire) which covers the entire region. Vin de Pays is one step up from table wine and it is usually seen as single varietals on the label such as; Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc. These types of wines will definitely have some typical flavours of Loire such as freshness, light body with simple fruit. If you are a novice to this region, this is a good way to try some general varietals in order to discover which grape type is right for your particular liking. Once you have established a grape type then you can break out into the quality wines of this region. The Loire Valley is broken into four sub regions; they run as far west as the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the east where the Central Vineyards are located.

The Central Vineyards:

The Central Vineyards are where the two most famous Loire Vineyards are located; Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. The Sancerre Vineyards are located in a town named Sancerre and the Pouilly-Fume Vineyards are located in Pouilly-sur-Loire, these two towns are located directly across one another on either side of the river. The Sancerre AC Vineyards are located throughout 15 villages and are known for producing the finest dry white wines of the Loire Valley. Most Sancerre wines are white and are made from Sauvignon Blanc. Just like Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc's from New Zealand have a distinctive herbaceous aroma. In the majority of cases Sancerre wines are not made for aging therefore they should be consumed young. The Pouilly-Fume region is well known for balanced, structured white wines. The Pouilly-Fume AC have been planting vines for various centuries and this region also grows premium Sauvignon Blanc, but is typically fruiter and less herbaceous. The vines of Pouilly Fume are planted on mostly limestone, flint and clay soils. The wines from this region require a year to eighteen months of aging in the bottle and will continue to age well after that.

Touraine and Anjou-Saumer:

These two separate regions are well known for growing the best white wines made with the Chenin Blanc grape. The Chenin Blanc grape can be used in a variety of different styles of wines from dry whites to sweet dessert wines to sparkling wines. Saumer is very well recognized for producing sparkling wines using the Chenin Blanc grape. This is actually the second largest producer of sparkling wines, next to the Champagne Region. The younger styles of Chenin Blanc can differ between flavours of green apple in the cooler climates to exotic fruit flavours in the warmer climates. The Touraine and Anjou-Saumer regions are also known for producing some great Cabernet Franc wines in both red and rose styles. In the Touraine region the premium areas for Cabernet Franc are Chinon AC and Bourgueil Ac. As for the Anjou-Saumer, Cabernet Franc is primarily produced in the Saumer AC and Anjou AC regions.

The Nantais:

This region is located on the most western side of the Loire Valley alongside the Atlantic Ocean. The main wine from this region is Muscadet. There is only one grape variety which can be used for the production of Muscadet and it is Melon Blanc or Muscadet. The best Muscadet wines display a good balance of green apple and some grassy aromas. Muscadet is a very food friendly wine which should be consumed young.

About Dave Keighron

Dave Keighron has written 63 posts in this blog.

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