Famous for Chinon wine. Chinon (37 Indre-et-Loire, Centre-Val-de-Loire) is in the heart of the Val de Loire area and of the Regional Natural Park Loire – Anjou – Touraine. Chinon lies between two rivers, the royal Loire and the majestic Vienne.
The surrounding, countryside, particularly the lower valley of the Vienne and the area between the Vienne and the Loire, known as the Véron, delights visitors with its lovely scenery and many interesting architectural features. Not to be forgotten of course is the local beverage, Chinon‘s noble wine, already celebrated in the writings of François Rabelais, one of Chinon’s most famous sons.
A wine fair is to be held in Chinon (les vignerons dans la ville) on 27 April 2019, when you can have the chance to taste the wines of the region – see www.chinon.com/.
Chinon has an impressive chateau which dominates the town, and beneath the chateau lie the cellars of Couly-Dutheil, one of the most important Chinon producers. Although best known for Cabernet Franc reds, the Chenin whites can be delightful – particularly memorable was a bottle of Couly Dutheil’s Les Chanteaux – great label too!
François Rabelais ( 16th Century) was a French Renaissance writer, physician, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes and songs. His best known work is Gargantua and Pantagruel. Because of his literary power and historical importance, Western literary critics consider him one of the great writers of world literature and among the creators of modern European writing. His literary legacy is such that today, the word Rabelaisian has been coined as a descriptive inspired by his work and life. The dictionary defines the word as describing someone or something that is “marked by gross robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism”. wikipedia
If you are in the Loire Valley for the weekend of 31 August – 1 September 2019, you can explore the vineyards and Loire wines in a different way,
Vignes, Vins et Randos is an organised series of walks throughout the Loire Valley at various locations featuring Loire wines from the Atlantic Coast through Muscadet, Anjou, Saumur as far east as Touraine:
Organised hikes around the themes of local heritage, vineyards and local wines.
A central theme in 2018 was music in the heart of the vines
A long the walks you will find different activities and gastronomic pauses with local produce such as : pork rillons, rillettes, goat’s cheese, apples and more… The local traditions, expertise and heritage will be the main attractions.
A previous highlight of the walk was an acoustic concert in the vines with professional musicians selected by the organisers of the local Avoine Zone Blues festival who play jazz, swing, gypsy, French or classical music. There is a choice to satisfy everyone’s taste in music!
– The deaf and hard of hearing accompanied on the Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine and Saumur-Champigny walks.
– Hot air ballon on the Chinon walk.
– Horse and cart rides on the Quarts-de-Chaume, and Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau walks.
– Guided descriptions of the vineyard landscapes by experts from the Mission Val de Loire on the Quarts-de-Chaume, Saumur-Champigny , Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau and Vouvray walks.
For more info on this weekend of Loire wines see www.vignesvinsrandos.fr/
There’s a new free map and guide available from InterLoire (the official wine body for the region) to the vineyards of the Loire Valley available to download and in English:-
The light glistening on the river and its tributaries is a wonderful sight. The cellars carved into white limestone, magical châteaux, magnificent gardens, hillsides covered in vines ; hundreds of sights that still hold the memory of kings, queens, princes and artists like Rabelais, Ronsard, Balzac, Leonardo da Vinci, and Joachim du Bellay… The Loire vineyards offer charm, grace and surprise around every corner. It is a region for good living, a valley of abundance, a source of flavourful wines and generous aromas,and we would like to share all that with you.
This wine region (which does not include other appellations which are nevertheless close to the River Loire such as Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy, Menetou-Salon etc – these are all classified as “Vins du Centre” ) does cover the Loire from the Atlantic to Orleans and includes 68 separate appellations and has more than 7,000 wine producers making it France’s third most important vineyard.
For each winemaker there is a comprehensive entry – e.g. for one of our favourites, the Domaine Leduc-Frouin in Anjou:-
The Leduc-Frouin estate invites you to discover its wines in a guided tasting session. Guided tours upon request. Groups: tours and wine tastings, reservations necessary for meals.
Monday – Friday: 9 am -12 pm / 2 pm – 6 pm, Saturday: 2 pm – 6 pm, and mornings by appointment only.
AOC Anjou Blanc ; Anjou Gamay ; Anjou Rouge ; Anjou Villages ; Cabernet d’Anjou ; Coteaux du Layon ; Rosé d’Anjou ; Rosé de Loire ; Saumur Brut.
Antoine et Nathalie LEDUC La Seigneurie – Sousigné
T:02 41 59 42 83
This is an invaluable guide to wine touring in the region, which does offer many delights for the wine and food enthusiast and others.