Loire Valley Wines are characterized by their freshness and diversity of color, material and tastes. Everybody knows about the delicious rosé. Good, refreshing wines, as fruity as you could wish for, with a delicate touch of sweetness. The reds, whether fruity or serious, are great food wines. Whites come in all styles from dry to very sweet, providing something for every occasion. Sparkling wines, another Loire speciality, are made using the « traditional method ».
The Loire Valley vineyards are unrivalled for diversity and variety: its 85 appellations make up a completely unique range of wines. Whether red, white or rosé, still or sparkling, dry, tender, sweet or semi-sweet, the Loire Valley has a wine for the most discerning wine lover as well as something to entice the casual drinker. In this astonishingly wide range, you are sure to find a wine to delight you.
“In the Loire vineyards, the type and richness of the wine, whatever its colour or style, does nothing to detract from the luscious fruity flavours, the maturity and freshness, the balance and the overall drinking experience”. Olivier Poussier, Best Sommelier 2000
Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
The concept of an AOC is based on a mix of terroir (soil, sub-soil, altitude and climate), one or more grape varieties and specific winemaking techniques. Each unique combination gives the wines an exclusive personality, not transferrable to any other area. This presents the winemaker with yet another responsibility: to work in harmony with the terroir to ensure that its special features are reflected in the wine. This is why the study of viticultural terroirs (the interaction between grape and terroir, agricultural and oenological practices etc) is absolutely essential.
AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) is the French name for PDO, Protected Designation of Origin, and the European equivalent of AOC.
PGI denotes agricultural products and food items whose characteristics are closely linked to the geographical area in which they are produced, processed or finished.
These labels indicate both provenance and quality, and are monitored by INAO.