The Loire Valley is named after the River Loire, France’s longest river, which forms the centre line of the region around which the vineyards are situated. Spread over a vast area, the valley displays diverse climates and terroirs, which allows the region to produce a variety of styles and wines; white, rosé and light reds.
The Central Vineyards is the smallest in terms of production, but contains two of the most prestigious appellations for Sauvignon Blanc; Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Within these regions there are individual villages that have a reputation for producing high-quality and expressive wines. In Touraine, Vouvray is one of the best appellations for wines made using Chenin Blanc, producing a range of styles; from dry to lusciously sweet and still to sparkling. The best reds can be found in Touraine in the sub-region of Chinon and are made from Cabernet Franc.
If looking at individual producers, BI recommends Domaine Huet as the world’s greatest producer of Chenin Blanc and some of the longest-lived white wines. For top Sauvignon Blancs, we suggest you try the wines of Didier Dagueneau which are also capable to significant cellaring.