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Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is France's third largest Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, behind Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley. The Loire boasts over 87 AOC's, producing red, white, rosé and sparkling wines from a huge variety of terroirs, micro-climates, grapes and traditions. The Loire Valley area is split into four, main sub-regions: Nantais, Anjou-Saumur, Touraine and the Central Vineyards. Although the region produces many different styles of wine, it is most famous for its dry, white wines from Sancerre AC,Pouilly-Fumé AC (made from Sauvignon Blanc) and, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine AC (made from Melon de Bourgogne). The villages of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are situated in the Central Vineyards, which are actually in the east. They therefore experience a continental climate with very little maritime influence. The Muscadet vineyards, on the other hand, are found in the westerly, Nantais region and are strongly influenced by the Atlantic, with short, mild winters and warm summers. Anjou-Saumur and Touraine are located in the heart of the Loire, with climates that are a mixture of maritime and continental. These two areas produce the vast majority of the regions’ red, white and rosé wines, as well as some of the Loires finest and long-lived examples. White, still and sparkling wines are generally made with Chenin Blanc, and can be dry, sweet or semi-sweet. The red and rosé wines are made from Cabernet Franc, Gamay, or Pinot Noir. They are usually light, fragrant, and juicy with light tannins and high acidity.