The Wines of Saumur, Chinon and Anjou
One of the most famous aspects of this region has to be the Loire wines. There are hundreds of vineyards to choose from within the surrounding areas. You can easily follow the ‘Scenic Route of the Vineyards’ by looking out for the sign showing a bunch of red grapes at most crossroads.
The Saumur vineyards are blessed with a gentle micro-climate and offer a good choice of wines. In particular, Saumur is famous for its sparkling Bruts - Saumur Brut from Bouvet Ladubay and Ackerman-Laurance. The reds, Saumur and Saumur-Champigny – are wonderful fruity light reds – perfect for drinking with fish or meat.
The Anjou region offers an excellent choice of wines, in particular its rosé. Rosé de Loire and Cabernet d’Anjou are also perfect for summer drinking. The reds, Anjou Gamay and Anjou Rouge, are rich and fruity. This area is also famous for its dessert wines, made entirely from the Chenin Blanc grape, namely Côteaux du Layon and Quarts de Chaume, which is an excellent partner to Roquefort cheese.
The most famous of all must be Chinon, to the south east of Saumur. The Chinon vineyards are a 20 minute drive away. There are many vineyards to choose from and the town itself is well worth a visit. The most celebrated of Chinon wines is Couly-Dutheil, the “grand name” of Chinon, offering a vast collection of stunning whites and reds.
The Loire is also famous for its Muscadet – a fresh, dry and light style white wine which grows in the vineyards surrounding the area of Nantes. Other famous wines in the Loire Valley include Savennières, Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre, Vouvray and Bourgueil.