We’re in the Loire Valley


I arrived today in the chilly Loire Valley of France, which is still one of the more under-appreciated wine regions, and I’ll be posting from here during my week-long look at the wines of the Loire, which include such well-known appellations as Sancerre, Vouvray, Muscadet and Chinon, but also many others that deserve to be better known. The centerpiece of my visit is a three-day event here in Angers, in the central Loire, known as the Salon des Vins de Loire. It’s a giant tasting that attracts hundreds of winemakers who hope to make an impression with their latest offerings on the world’s importers, retailers, restaurants and journalists. I’m here with a small group of American wine writers invited to attend the event and sponsored by InterLoire, the region’s wine trade body. The tasting and spitting begin bright and early tomorrow.

This afternoon, we had a delightful warm-up at Domaine Richou just a few miles outside Angers. Didier Richou, seen above on the right, took us around his vineyards and poured his expressive, terroir-driven chenin blancs, both dry and sweet, as well as his red gamays and cabernet francs. I’ll have details on our tasting shortly.

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