Produces one of the richest and most comprehensive selection of wines
The wine-growing regions dotting the river’s banks feature no less than 4,000 winegrowers and 70,000 hectares of vineyards, with 61 ACs. Among France’s many wine-producing regions, the Loire valley leads in white wines, ranks second for rosés, and scores third for ACs.
With its great diversity in terroir, soil composition and climate, this region produces one of the richest and most comprehensive selection of wines: reds, whites and rosés, still and sparkling, dry or sweet.
The Loire wine-producing region is divided into 3 sub-regions:
Nantes has an oceanic climate, characterized by mild autumns and winters, and hot and often humid summers. Vineyards get an average exposure to sunlight of about 2,000 hours per year. The Melon de Bourgogne grape flowers and ripens early, which translates to mid-September harvests. The soil structure is mainly igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Armorican Massif on a substrate of gneiss, mica schist, greenstone and granite. The silicic acid present in the soil gives the wines their inherent finesse. High-lime soils are rare.
Anjou and Saumurois get an average amount of sunlight, with minor temperature fluctuations. As in Nantes, winters are mild and summers are hot, and in Saumurois, the hills provide shelter from western winds. Harvesting usually begins in October, as the Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripen relatively late. The soil structure is primarily slate, sandstone, and carboniferous schist from the Armorican Massif with veins of igneous rock. Slate soil is more prevalent in Anjou, whereas Saumurois features mostly high-lime soil.
As for Touraine, its climate is shaped by a strong continental influence, with the hilly topography providing further protection against western winds. The region gets roughly 1,800 hours of sunshine per year; summers bring average rainfalls, and October is usually dry. The subsoil in western Touraine is primarily chalky marl from the Paris Basin, and features ‘perruches’ (clay-silica) and ‘aubuis” (clay-limestone) on a chalky base. The eastern region is primarily sand on a clay subsoil, and the wine-growing terraces on the banks of the Loire River feature sandy, gravelly soil.
Source : Vin Val de la Loire