An area that’s known for its gastronomy and style, the Loire Valley is the perfect escape for those who fancy themselves as a bit of a wine connoisseur. With 87 appellations coming from the valley, the 185,000 acres of land that make up the region are home to over 4,000 wineries. Spreading from the Muscadet region near Nantes to the Sancerre region in north-central France, the diverse range of wine styles that come from Loire Valley depend on how successful the year’s harvest performed.
In 2017, the late April frost meant that there was widespread damage to the variety of grapes grown in Loire Valley. Uneven and unpredictable, there was a loss in volume due to the unforeseen weather changes. However, despite the setbacks earlier in the year, the harvesting of several grape varieties took place earlier than usual. The Muscadet was one of the worst hit grapes, with Fred Niger in Le Landreau only producing three hectolitres of the grape per hectare, with over nearby regions also being hit. Despite this, it was the earliest harvesting that the Muscadet had seen in eight years.
So, what does this mean for the grapes? Despite the early frost, which left many of the grapes unable to harvest, most of the grapes collected were clean and without any signs of rot. In addition to this, when the grapes were sampled from varieties such as Muscadet and Pouilly-sur-Loire, the taste was clean and well-balanced. Although it is too soon to know how this will impact the overall flavour of the wines once finished, the quality is currently high and looking promising.
A trip to Loire Valley would not be complete without sampling some of the wines to come from the region. Although the grapes that have been harvested this year are still unable to try as of yet, on your next visit to France, why not book a stay in one of our holiday villas in Loire? This gives you the perfect excuse to sip on some of the finest wines to come out of the country, before retreating back to your home-away-from-home.
Although the Muscadet grape is one of the most popular to come out of the region, due to the size of the Loire Valley, there is an extensive variety of the beverage to be produced. Pays Nantais, in the lower Loire Valley, is a popular destination for those who are fond of a glass of white. The citrusy wines of Melon de Bourgogne, Folle Blanche and Pinot Gris, would perfectly complement the locally produced seafood and are cultivated wonderfully thanks to the flat, south-facing vineyards.
If you’re after something a little different, travel further into the region, where, in Anjou, Saumur and Touraine in Middle Loire Valley, sparkling wines are hugely popular. Travelling to the middle of the valley will provide you with a mix of white and red grape, producing wines such as Arbois and Pinot Gris to Cabernet Franc and Pineau d’Aunis.
The last region of Upper Loire is home to one of the most famous wines throughout the world, Sauvignon Blanc. Today, the wine is emulated across the world thanks to its smoky attributes. However, there are several other varieties of wine that also come from the region that you could sample on a trip to the area.
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