Sweet Wines from the Loire Valley

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:

9 thoughts on “Sweet Wines from the Loire Valley

Add yours

  1. Nice of you to shine the light on Loire sweet wines. I like serving them with fresh stone fruits and have been known to pour a little over the top. By the way, gorgeous house!

  2. As soon as the travel restrictions are lifted I would love to come for a visit! LOL!
    Thank you for shining a light on these sweet wines. There is such diversity in styles of wine and they all have a place. This swing to “dry” in all things, leaves out so many wines that are lovely and should be enjoyed.
    Variety is the spice of life, right?

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