The Loire Valley is one of France’s most diverse wine region and produces exemplary wines in every style. Popularity of Loire Valley wines with sommeliers and wine writers has been growing steadily for the last ten years because of their variety. Loire Valley wines share important characteristics that make them perfect for contemporary taste:
- Moderate alcohol, refereshing acidity and minerality make them ideal food wines
- Pure expression of varietal and terroir unmarked by oak
- Excellent value
Although best known for crisp, dry, white wines, including definitive examples of Sauvignon Blanc and the unique seaside wines of Muscadet, and the rich aromatic white wines made from Chenin Blanc, the Loire Valley also produces fruity, red wines from Pinot Noir and Gamay and earthy, red wines from Cabernet Franc and Malbec. In addition, there are dry and off-dry Rosé, elegant sparkling wines and luscious, sweet wines.
THE LOIRE VALLEY VINEYARD
With over 2,000 years of history, the Loire Valley vineyard area is made up of a mosaic of different climates, soils, geographical features and locations – all of which contribute to the diversity of the Valley’s wines. The Loire Valley vineyards are distinctive for the diversity of their natural environments, a result of the wide range of soils and subsoils present.
THE LOIRE VALLEY VARIETIES
The connection between varietal and terroir, where diversity goes hand in hand with unity, is all the more unusual when one considers that some of the region’s great varietals are native to the Loire Valley, while others come from the East or Southwest of France. Loire Valley wines are unusual because, for the most part, produced from a single varietal: Melon de Bourgogne for the Nantes area; Chenin, Cabernet Franc and Gamay in Anjou, Saumur and Touraine; Sauvignon and Pinot noir in Touraine and Centre-Loire; and also Grolleau, Pinot Meunier, Pineau d’Aunis, Romorantin etc. This breadth of variety is completely unique, and gives a very diverse, highly expressive range of wines. Loire Valley PGI wines are available in three colors, in still red, white and Rosés from 11 varietals. They can be either single varietals or blends. Wines with Protected Geographical Indication are guaranteed to originate wholly and exclusively from a single specified region. PGI is an official European classification used to denote quality and provenance.
THE LOIRE VALLEY IN NUMBERS
Loire Valley is comprised of 79 appellations & denominations (1 PGI) and produces over 380 million bottles a year.
Loire Valley is the #1 producing wine region of white wines (French AOC Wines).
Loire Valley is the #2 producing wine region of Rosé wines (French AOC Wines).
Loire Valley is the #1 producing wine region of sparkling wines (AOC Sparkling wines, excluding Champagne).
Loire Valley has the third largest vineyard in France.