Wine Routes of Loire - The Classic Loire Wines of Chinon, Bourgueil and Tours Plus Opportunities to revist France's medieval past at unforgettable Chateaux.
Wines Of Chinon - Cabernet Franc at its Best.
Better quality, interesting wines at a fraction of the price of other classic French reds. . Based almost exclusively on Caberne Franc (although up to 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon is allowed, it is rarely used). Chenin produces some of the Loire’s finest reds. These range in style from easy, drinking wines to be drunk early, to more structured wines that in good vintages will last twenty years or more.
On the limestone hillside vines planted on south-facing slopes are produced the long-lived, robust wines. Here are several of the top producers with the most famous vineyards. Modern winemaking techniques and rigorous standards have restored Chinon to its place of honour among French wines. Although aging may be in barrels, little fresh oak is used, so character of the grapes the featured characteristic.
BOURGUEIL AND ST. NICOLAS DE BOURGUEIL WINES
Another excellent red wine purchase opportunity – low prices good quality and several vineyards and Chateaux tastining rooms to visit. This area is on the north bank of the Loire river between Saumur and Tours. The 2,350 hectares of the Bourgueil and St. Nicolas de Bourgueil appellations are planted with Cabernet Franc, with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. . Vines have been cultivated here since Roman times, but with the founding of the Benedictine Abbey of Bourgueil in 990, serious viticulture began. There is an ancient covered market which is best seen market days Tuesdays and Saturdays. .Look to buy the famous Bourgueil garlic.
Chinon – Great History –Great Wines.
Chinon is a town rich in both culture, history, restaurants with a really interesting old town – la vielle ville. There is also Chateau accomodations nearby.
Chinon village sits in between the Château on top of the hill and the river Vienne. For generations, it was the home of kings and the seat of the government.
Interestingly, the Plantegenet Kings ( of England). Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine lived here and kept the Royal Treasury in Chinon. His son Richard the Lion Heart was also born here.and part of him is buried here, his other parts buried with the above at nearby Royal Abbey of Fontevraud.
In the the Chateau tower there is a Joan of Arc museum with English guides , explaining the complex political situation at the time using maps and charts.
Joan of Arc is one of histories most remarkable figures and in the Loire and Champagne besides the wines you can see the historical places that feature in her life a worthwhile side interest for your trip.
Chinon Bike Hire
Bicycles can be rented at the SNCF train station or at the of for a more personal sevice go to the hotel Agnès Sorel, 4 quai Pasteur, phone 02.47.93.04.37. They also have maps of the area with bike paths indicated. There are lovely paths that go along the river Vienne all the way to where it meets the Loire and also trails through vineyards.
. There is also the Caves Painctes which are open to visit during July and August. There is a worthwhile market day on Thursdays with other smaller markets often on Saturday and Sunday.
Good hotel deals throughout the region. Click Below.
Vouvray is the largest white wine appellation of the Anjou-Saumur-Touraine region and it produces splendid wines that vary from dry and refreshing to rich and sweet, as well as excellent sparkling wines.
All Vouvray is made entirely from Chenin Blanc, which has been grown in the region since the 4th century. No other grapes are allowed in the appellation.
Much depends upon the vintage conditions.
Sparkling and Petillant Vouvray wines show all the qualities of the still wines but with an even more pronounced flavor of minerals. They are an excellent aperitif, but are also excellent wines to drink with a meal. Pétillant referes to wines with only slight bubbles that give a tingling sensation to the palate. With the quality of good Champagnes and a style of their these sparkling wines are terrific value for celebrations and special parties. .
In driving around Vouvray, be warned, that as in many France villages it can be quite confusing as roads are poorly marked.