In the heart of the Loire Valley south of Blois, Cheverny (41 Loir et Cher, Centre) is best known for its classic Loire Chateau rather than its wines, which remain relatively obscure. Yet such is their quality that Parisians regularly head 200km down the autoroute at the weekend to stock up!
The white wines of Cheverny AOC are usually from Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapes, whilst the reds and rosés are based on the Pinot Noir.
But it is the white wines of Cour-Cheverny AOC which are distinct, being based on the rarely-seen Romorantin grape. This produces rich, minerally dry white wines which last long in the mouth and are particularly good with food, such as fish and shellfish, asparagus (a local specialty) and white meats.
Our prefered wine producer is Michel Gendrier at Domaine des Huards, who produces both Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny wines. They can organize a guided tour followed by a wine tasting in their authentic tasting room
The village(s) are small and quiet – except when there are too many visitors to the Chateau – a by-pass takes all the through traffic away from the village. Cour-Cheverny is the “courtyard” to the Chateau – and most shops are in Cour-Cheverny as are the main hotels. although the Maison des Vins de Cheverny (the local wine syndicate) 1, avenue du Château is in Cheverny.
Our preferred hotel in Cour-Cheverny is the Relais des Trois Chateaux (previously known as Hotel des Trois Marchands). It has long been a regular stop on the way south, and although the rooms were comfortable, if plainly furnished, it was always the restaurant which was the highlight of the visit, superb local food and wine!. The name of the hotel refers to the 3 Loire Chateaux within 20 miles or so – Cheverny, Chambord and Blois. But the Chateau de Cheverny is just a 10 minute walk from the hotel