Wines of the Loire Valley – 5 Wine Appellations Scattered Amongst the Historic Chateaux

By: Corina Clemence


The Loire River in France flows through the Touraine area for almost 100 kilometres dotted with many amazing French chateau open to the public and a wonderful location for a holiday. There are 5 AOC wines (Appelations d'origine Controlees - wines of controlled origin and quality) awarded throughout this area: Touraine, Touraine Amboise, Touraine Azay-le-Rideau, Touraine Mesland and the latest being Touraine Noble-Joue awarded its AOC status in 2001. The combination of vineyards and castle make the Touraine region of the Loire Valley an incredible destination for any wine lover and his or her family.

Touraine Mesland is situated west of Blois, planted on the slopes of the Loire facing Chateau de Chaumont, which holds an amazing garden festival each summer based on a different theme each year and definitely worth a visit especially if you have children tagging along.

The reds have a substantial taste and are the colour of a well-ripened cherry and have complex aromas of prunes and very ripe fruits. The roses sparkle with salmon highlights and have a fresh delicate aroma of spices and red fruits. They have a solid palate making them suitable to accompany a whole meal. The whites carry an aroma of pear and spices and are lively and round on the palate.

The appellation of Touraine Noble-Joue is only 25 hectares producing a characteristic rose with flower aromas of peony and hyacinth followed by notes of cherry, redcurrant and ripe pear. The rose palate is round with flavours of morello cherry and a dash of cloves.

The chenin blank whites of the five Touraine appellations are all straw yellow can be cellared for 5 to 15 years.

The Touraine Amboise vineyards totalling 236 hectares are located between Tours and Blois extending along both banks of the Loire River. The reds are a wild cherry colour produced from a blend of Cabernet and Gamay Noir and have scents of red fruits. Their palate is solid and full. The whites produced from Chenin Blanc give dry, medium and sweet white wines. Their straw yellow colour turns gold after 3 to 4 years of cellaring. Their aroma is all quince and honey and they have a supple palate because of the more continental climate that favours late-ripening grape varieties. The roses are light in colour with a bouquet of lilac and roses and are refreshing to taste and suitable for early drinking.

It is delightful to combine a day of tasting Touraine Amboise AOC wines with a visit to Chateau Close Luc, Leonardo da Vinci's castle now a museum with working models of many of his inventions and an amazing interactive park adored by children and Chateau Amboise which is da Vinci's final resting place.

The Touraine appellation covering 5,282 hectares differs depending on the terroir on the slopes of the River valleys. Half the production is red. The Cabernet and Gamay reds are cherry coloured. The Gamay has a strawberry or cherry flavour. They have a dominant fruitiness with discreet tannins and should be drunk within two years. The Cabernet red has a raspberry, green pepper and liquorice fragrance and can be laid down for 2 to 4 years because of its good tannic support. White wines made from Sauvignon produced mainly in the Cher valley are straw yellow in colour and have a floral fragrance with a touch of blackcurrant or gooseberry mingled with traces of spices. On the palate the sauvignon whites are delicately lively. The methode traditionnelle sparkling wines have mouth-filling flavours of brioche and apple.

The must see Chateau to visit in the region of this appellation is Chateau Chenonceau which spans the River Cher.

The Touraine Azay-le-Rideau is a small region totalling 45 hectares south-west of Tours stretching along the Indre valley between Montbazon and the Loire river producing roses and whites. The roses are dainty with an aroma of marshmallows, lilac, almond and roses. They are lively and delightful to drink in summer. The whites are fresh and have floral and fruit aromas of apricot peach and green apple with a soft mineral edge.

You must visit the spectacular Chateau du Azay-le-Rideau when in this appellation area. The chateau is turreted and surrounded by water which gives amazing reflections for the son et lumière show held in summer.

The Touraine Azay-le-Rideau is a small region totalling 45 hectares south-west of Tours stretching along the Indre valley between Montbazon and the Loire river producing roses and whites. The roses are dainty with an aroma of marshmallows, lilac, almond and roses. They are lively and delightful to drink in summer. The whites are fresh and have floral and fruit aromas of apricot peach and green apple with a soft mineral edge.

You must visit the spectacular Chateau du Azay-le-Rideau when in this appellation area. The chateau is turreted and surrounded by water which gives amazing reflections for the son et lumière show held in summer.

As well as these five AOC wines there is also Vouvray in the Touraine and Cheverney, Cour-Cheverney just South of Blois.

What better way to enjoy these lovely wines than driving through the Loire Valley visiting historic chateaux, maybe a hot-air balloon ride in the morning, gourmet lunch in village bistros, meeting wine and cheese producers sampling their products and returning at night to a friendly inviting boutique chateau hotel. Don't just visit a french castle - stay in one and truly experience the grandeur of living in a castle in France. You will be amazed. Make your next holiday a gourmet wine lovers castle holiday in the beautiful Loire Valley. If you love great wine you will not regret it.

Article Directory: http://www.articletrunk.com

| More

Corina Gildersleeve operates a luxury castle in the Loire Valley, for up to fifteen people ideal for touring vineyards, castles and relaxing with friends and family. Hire Loire Valley castle. www.loirechateau.com Rent a castle in France. She also writes for www.articleaunty.com on article writing for SEO your website.

Please Rate this Article

 

Not yet Rated

Click the XML Icon Above to Receive Wine and Spirits Articles Articles Via RSS!


Powered by Article Dashboard