The first vines were planted by the Romans in the Loire valley, around Nantes. It is only in the 5th century that the viticulture kicks off in the entire region. The wine road of the Loire Valley is the longest in France, starting in Nantes and finishing in the Sancerre area, spreading alongside the Loire river. Today, the Loire Valley counts more than 7,000 wine-growing holdings.
The vineyards of the Loire Valley are the reflection of the diversity of the soils, topography and expositions. The diversity of terroirs is fully expressed in the great variety of wines, even when they come from a same varietal. Mostly tempered, the climate in the Loire Valley is oceanic in the Nantes area and in Anjou, while in the Saumur and Touraine area it seems more continental. The Loire river and its numerous tributaries play a moderating role. Favoring the existence of a multitude of microclimates anabling viticulture, it contributes to the great diversity of wines. Their buffer effect is crucial for the elaboration of sweet wines.
The main specificity of the Loire Valley wines comes from the fact that most of them are single varietals : Chenin, Cabernet Franc and Gamay in Anjoy, Saumur and Touraine, Sauvignon and Pinot Noir in Touraine and in the Sancerre area, but also Grolleau, Pinot Meunier, Pinot d'Aunis and Romorantin.
With 63 AOCs, as diverse and famous as Saumur-Champigny, Chinon, Sancerre or Bourgueil, the Loire Valley is the 3rd largest French wine region, mostly classified as UNESCO world heritage. The Loire Valley is also the first producer of white wine in France