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Home Wine Regions French Wine Regions Overview French Wine Regions - Loire Valley

French Wine Regions - Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is located in France. It is just as renowned for its beauty as for its wines. The wine grapes are typically grown all along the Loire River, which runs from Auvergne to the Atlantic.

Confirmed knowledge of wine grape vines here goes back as far as the first Roman invasion. But it is commonly believed that red wines were being produced from grapes on the hillsides and white wines were being produced from grapes along the river 2400 years ago. In modern times, annual production in the Loire Valley region tops 400 million bottles.

Variations in climate from mild on the western side to cold and hot on the eastern side allow for variations in the types of wines produced here. However, 75% of these variations are white wines. Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon are the most common. Among the red wines, most production comes from Cabernet Franc, Gamay, or Pinot Noir.

The eastern side is primarily Sauvignon Blanc. The dry Pouilly-Fumé is the resultant product. The western side of primarily Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc results in Vouvray, Bourgueil, Montlouis, and Chinon.

The Rosé d'Anjou is a product of this region that is particularly famous. Its enjoyment can be traced back as far as King Henry II of England. Fortunately, this oak-aged white wine is affordable enough for even the average person to enjoy on special occasions. With demand so high, it is arguably a good thing that there are 55 million bottles of Rosé d'Anjou produced here annually.

Coteaux du Layon is a wider wine grape growing area in this region. It is located on the Layon river. The grape vines here receive special climatic protection from surrounding hills. This particular area is noteworthy because it produces about 7 million bottles of a unique sweet wine annually. This wine is said to have been created more than 1,500 years ago. The grapes grown here take a little longer to ripen, and they are said to be better if they go a little beyond that point before being picked.

The Muscadet on the westernmost portion of the region is acclaimed for its pale white wine with a dry taste. This is a wine that purportedly tastes better fresh than it does aged. An amazing 100 million bottles of wine are produced here annually.

There are plenty of great wines to be found in the Loire Valley of France. But what else would you expect from French wineries?