The Loire Valley is such an incredibly beautiful place, rich in history with an amazing array of wines to taste, write about and enjoy. I’ve spent some time in the Loire but it’s never enough. When I lived in Dijon in college I visited some of the famed chateaux and since then, I’ve visited a few more and even attended a friend’s wedding in the region.
Among the amazing wines in the region of some of the world’s best sweet wines. Since I am such a fan of this underappreciated category, it seems a no-brainer when Jill of L’Occasion chose the region for this month’s #Winophiles tour. Here’s her preview post on the Loire Valley.
Much of the sweet wine in the Loire comes from the Middle Loire, particularly the areas around Layon. The wines tend to be made from Chenin Blanc which does well on the vine long into the season and can support the impact of botrytis. There are numerous appellations, among them:
Anjoy Coteaux de la Loire AOC, Bonnezeaux, Chaume, Coteaux de Layon, Coteaux du Layon + Village, Coteaux de l’Aubance and Quarts de Chaume, considered a Grand Cru area. The one wine made from red grapes that can be sweet is the Cabernet d”Anjou. It can be made from both Cabernets and must have at least 1% residual sugar. It can be off-dry to sweet.
There are also sweet wines made in the Saumur Aoc, although it is more well known for it’s sparkling wines. These too are crafted from Chenin blanc under the Coteaux de Saumur AOC.
Montlouis sur Loire AOC near the city of Touraine is another lovely sweet wine made from Chenin Blanc.
Vouvray of course is another classic appellation that can also be made into a sweet version using the Chenin Blanc grape.
While all of these Middle Loire wines are made from the same grape variety, there are many differences between them thanks to microclimates and soils as well as elevation, exposure and the winemaker of course.
The wines are all either botrytis driven wines or they are dried and concentrated on the vine. Generally the wines are not oaked. Many are bottled right after pressing but they may be aged in the bottle before release.
In my experience, these wines can be ethereal and the perfect complement to any dessert or cheese or just on their own.
Next time you want to come to my house, pictured above, drop me a line :).
Join us on Saturday, August 15th, at 11 am EDT. You will find us under the hashtag #winophiles. For more information on the wines of the Loire Valley, please visit the official website.
Check out my fellow bloggers and the articles they are penning:
- Muscadet is Not Muscat, Gabure Bigourdane, and (Our Version of) Faire Chabròl | Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Thierry Michon and Domaine Saint Nicolas – Biodynamic Loire Wines |Savor the Harvest
- Savennières and Vouvray: Two Tastes of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc | The Swirling Dervish
- Sweet Wines from the Loire | Avvinare
- Made it to Dessert with a Vouvray | Keep the Peas
- A Vineyard Visit: Organic Clos du Tue-Boeuf with Thierry Puzelat and his Sauvignon Blanc paired with a savory summer tart | Wine Predator
- Turkey and Cabbage Skillet Recipe with Pouilly-Fumé | Cooking Chat
- Enjoying Summer Food with Chinon Wine and a Fun Book | A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cooking to the Wine: “Brendan Stater-West Saumur Les Chapaudaises and Chicken Thighs with Apples and Onions | Somm’s Table
- Summer Sipping: B&G Chenin Blanc and Crispy Baked Pork Chops | Our Good Life
- Montlouis-sur-Loire – 2 Rivers, 3 Zeros and some delicious sparkling wine | Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Exploring the Loire Valley From My Balcony with #Winophiles! | The Quirky Cork
- Funky Loire Pet Nat was born for goat cheese pizza | My Full Wine Glass
- A Crémant de Loire, a Vouvray, and a Rosé D’anjou – I’m all set for the summer | Chinese Food and Wine Pairings
- Touraine Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley – Where Wine and History Reign | Grape Experiences
- Wine Thirsty? That’s No Problem in France’s Loire Valley | L’Occasion