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The guide

of Loire Valley Grapes

Discover the characteristics of wine grapes (varietals) used in the Loire Valley : Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon, Gamay and more !

From the Muscadet vineyards through the Anjou-Saumur wine region, Touraine and the Cher valley up to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. A total of ten grape varieties make up the diversity of Loire Valley wines.

Cabernet Franc

It is between the Touraine and Saumur wine regions that Cabernet Franc expresses all its character, infused with the characteristic chalky notes of tufa (Loire Valley’s predominant subsoil rock). Mostly vinified alone, Cabernet Franc accounts for more than half of the total production of red wines in the Loire Valley.

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Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is the emblematic grape variety of the Loire Valley wine region. Chenin offers a great diversity of wine styles (dry, sweet, sparkling) and is a perfect match to the variety of terroirs found in Anjou and Touraine. It is the third grape varietal planted in the Loire Valley behind Melon de Bourgogne and Sauvignon Blanc.

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Sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is the only grape variety authorized in the great appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. It can also be found in the Touraine wine region. Sauvignon Blanc is a very aromatic grape variety that reveals complex and multiple nuances depending on the terroir where the vine is planted. Mostly vinified alone, Sauvignon Blanc weighs for a third of the total production of white Loire Valley wines.

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Gamay

If Gamay is the star grape variety of Beaujolais, it is found in many other Loire Valley appellations: Chateaumeillant, Valençay, Touraine (red wines) and Anjou (rosé wines). Gamay accounts for nearly twenty percent of the total production of Loire Valley red and rosé wines.

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Côt

The Côt grape variety, also known as Malbec in South America, has also found a beautiful place of rebirth in the Touraine wine region. Even though it is a minority Loire variety, côt has the wind in its sails, like the AOP Touraine Amboise which has decided to produce its reds using non-assembled 100% côt wines.

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Learn about Loire Valley wines. The ultimate wine Q&A, in a short and fun format. French wine culture, in short quick sips. Show me the questions
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