The Loire Valley is one of France’s most dynamic wine regions. For every famous, household-name wine (such as Sancerre), there are at least two lesser known wines just waiting to be discovered!
The Loire has it all: dry and sweet, still and sparkling, white and red. It has so much to offer…
Did you know that:
1- The Loire Valley grows 95% of France’s Chenin! Chenin Blancoriginated near Anjou.
2-The Loire River isFrance’s longest, spanning 634 mi/1020 km. It originates in the Massif Central, 62 mi/100 km west of the city of Valence in the Rhône Valley, and flows north towards the city of Orléans and then west towards the Atlantic Ocean.
3-The Muscadet grape originated in Bourgogne where it was called “Melon.” Dutch traders in the 16th century encouraged its cultivation in the western Loire after discovering its suitability forbrandy production.
4-Cabernet Francis most likely Spanish in origin. Recent DNA studies on theLoire Valley’s most-planted red grape have established that it is the offspring of twoSpanish Basque varieties.
5-The sweet wines of Anjou are grown in an area nicknamed“Anjou Noir”. This name, that translates into "Black Anjou", comes from the famouslydark color of the local schist soils.
6-The Coulée de Serrant is France’s only 100% biodynamic AOC. It is one of France’s few AOCs entirely owned by single family. The estate makes provocative wines from Chenin Blanc.
7-Valençay is theonly French wine AOC to share its namewith a cheese AOC… The Valençay cheese AOC is among France’s most famous and recognizable goat cheeses.
8-TheTouraine Noble-Joué AOC makes only dry rosé from the Pinotfamily of grapes. Louis XI is credited with advocating for the success of these Burgundian varieties and so the area became known for its “noble” wine.
9-TheSancerre AOC did not always focus on SauvignonBlanc! Historically, local wine growers mainly cultivated Chasselas and Pinot Noir. The phylloxera epidemic changed the vineyard landscape. Growers replanted with Sauvignon Blanc and by 1931, it became the only white grape allowed in the area. Pinot Noir was named the only red variety permitted to be grown.
10-TheQuarts de Chaume Grand Cru AOC is the Loire Valley’s only Grand Cru. Its vineyards lie inside of a horseshoe bend of the Layon River. This fortunate curve blocks cool north winds and engenders the formation of fog which encourages the development of noble rot—a key element of these delicious wines.
Learn more about the wines you already love and discover the Loire’s hidden gems with our newest Master-Level program:
THE LOIRE MASTER-LEVEL PROGRAM
Join the first online session starting September 23, 2019. Tuition | $495
This program will not run live again until after 2021.