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Loire

Loire (GB)
Loira (ES)
Loira (I)
Loira (PO)
Loire (N)

The "royal river" (Breton Liger) covers a distance of 1,000 kilometers from the Massif Central in southern central France to the mouth of the Atlantic. He gave the name to this huge wine-growing region with around 70,000 hectares of vineyards. Like everyone waters it has a positive effect on viticulture or creates the conditions for this by forming valley slopes. The Loire originates south of Lyon, first flows in an arc to the north and then turns west at Orléans. It crosses twelve departments and includes a total of ten tributaries. A noteworthy viticulture is on both banks of the Loire over a distance of around 400 kilometers, whereby the vineyards are divided into many areas.

The Romans planted vines here at the turn of the age. The Loire wines were already popular in England and Holland in the 11th century and were imported in large quantities. In the 12th century, the Cistercian at Savennières a vineyard, the famous location Coulée-de-Serrant, The French kings and many nobles built magnificent hunting lodges and castles on the banks of the Loire; in total there are over 400 castle complexes that stand along the Loire and its tributaries. The most beautiful come from the Renaissance under King Francis I (1494-1547). This brought Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) to his court, who lived in the Château Clos Lucé (not far from Château Amboise) until his death. The canonized Joan of Arc (1412-1431) also met Chinon the first time with King Charles VII (1403-1461) to motivate him to fight England. UNESCO opened the "Val de Loire" (Loire Valley) in 2000 World Heritage appointed.

Due to its size, the region has climatic conditions from continental in the Massif Central to Atlantic at the Loire estuary by the sea. In combination with the different soil conditions, the result is a wide variety of wine types. And yet they have a commonality of fresh acidity, fruitiness and tenderness of the aromas, which is due to the northern location of most appellations. The region is primarily a white wine area. The two main varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc (here referred to as Pineau de la Loire) produce dry to noble sweet wines. Above all, the sparkling wines are famous, the area Saumur developed after the Champagne to the second sparkling wine center in France. The main red grape varieties are Cabernet Franc (Breton), Gamay, Malbec (Cot) and Grolleau. This turns rose wines, Vins gris and obtained fruity red wines, most of which are intended for quick enjoyment.

Loire map of wine growing areas
By DalGobboM - Own work , GFDL , Link

For the sake of clarity, the large Loire region can be divided into four sections from west to east. To the west on the Atlantic coast on the lower course of the Loire is the large area around the city of Nantes Pays Nantais with the Muscadet white wines produced according to the Sur lie method. The second section is the Anjou-Saumur area with numerous enclaves. The third section is dominated by the Touraine area, which also has numerous island appellations. The fourth section in the historical province and former Duchy of Berry in central France is clearly demarcated from the other three sections and is the southernmost. To the east of it is the wine-growing region Burgundy respectively. Beaujolais, The main appellations:

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