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The French wine region of the Loire is blessed with France's longest river, stretching for more than 1,000 kilometers from the Ardeche in the southeast to the Bay of Biscaye, where it flows into the sea after passing through cities such as Orléans, Tours and Nantes. flow. Along the banks of this majestic river, the Loire Valley unfolds, famous for its fresh, fruity white wines that are particularly good enjoyed chilled.

History

The history of this area is steeped in rich intrigue and ancient wars. During a decisive battle near Orléans in 1429, led by the legendary Joan of Arc, the Loire region was reconquered from the English. This victory marked the beginning of a period of prosperity, in which French monarchs made the Loire their favorite place of residence. Also called the 'Garden of France' for its breathtaking landscapes, this area is home to impressive castles such as the 440-room Château Chambord and the beautiful Château Chenonceau.

Soil and climate

The soil of the Loire region, rich in tuff, has led to the formation of countless caves. Winegrowers use these caves to store their wines because of their constant temperature of about 14°C to 15°C throughout the year. This natural climate provides the perfect conditions for wine maturation, especially in the famous wine caves of Saumur, where sparkling wines are produced.

The climate varies greatly in the Loire Valley, from continental in Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre to the influence of the sea in Muscadet. This results in a diversity of wines that range from fresh, fruity sauvignon blancs to powerful, full-bodied cabernet francs.

Grapes

As far as grapes are concerned, the Loire works with both native and French grape varieties. Chenin blanc, an aromatic grape with a high acidity, provides the basis for dry, sparkling and sweet wines. Sauvignon blanc, known for its distinctive asparagus and gooseberry flavour, is used for delicious dry wines such as Touraine Sauvignon and Pouilly-Fumé. For red wines, cabernet franc and gamay are prominent, especially in areas such as Chinon and Bourgueil, where they produce robust and full-bodied wines.

In the region there are several renowned appellations, such as Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre, which are known for their high-quality sauvignon blancs. Touraine is the largest wine region, producing both white and red wines from grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Gamay. Anjou-Saumur is known for its rosés and sweet wines, while Muscadet, with its melon de bourgogne grapes, produces the best fish wines.

Loire

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