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Pays de la Loire Wine tasting in the Loire

I have been living in the Loire Valley for over 5 years now, and I still find it amazing just how many little gems I find almost every week. A few friends and I created a group called the Loire Winos, of course, and we try and get out wine tasting at least once a month to try different regions within the Anjou/Saumur and Tourraine regions. Apart from finding very good wines at very reasonable prices, I am always astounded at the actual variety of wine styles in the area.

In reality, the area uses two main grape varieties, the cabernet franc for reds and rose and the chenin blanc for whites. But with these two majestic grapes they produce almost every style of wine that your heart may desire. I'll post something about appellations another day.

So how can they make so many wine styles with only two grape varieties?
  • Well, the terroir has a huge influence on the taste, giving the wine different flavours and minerality.
  • How hot or cold it has been that summer also has a big influence on the wine, how concentrated it is, and also the depth of colour
  • Then, when you pick the grapes is a huge factor - the earlier you harvest, the drier the wine will be, the later, the sweeter
  • Don't forget the all important wine maker that will add bubbles, oak, or a variety of methods to stand out in the crowd.
What is also amazing, is that the majority of the winemakers in the Loire are either family owned, independent, or with a very small production, so you know that there is a lot of pride and love gone into every bottle you drink.

If you haven't been wine tasting in the area, I invite you to do so... try different areas... take your time... enjoy every sniff... enjoy every taste.





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The Loire reds are definitely getting greater awareness internationally now, partly as a pushback to the previous critical influencers who championed 'bigger is better, biggest is best'. There's definitely refreshment to be had in the Loire (and less risk of a sore head from high alcohol %).

Prices (for now) remain very appealing, though I fully expect prices to increase for some of the better known wineries, and that process has probably already started. I doubt the wider value in the region will disappear anytime soon.

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