Standing proud between Tours and Saumur, the Château de Beauvois and Château Le Prieuré boast commanding views over one of the Loire Valley’s crowning jewels – its vineyards. The reds, whites and rosés deliver an exceptionally fragrant palette of aromas and fruity notes that exemplify the hallmark flavors of their native region. The Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional nature park is home to five wine appellations that share the picturesque stretch of land between Chinon, Bourgueil and Azay. The Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Bourgueil appellations draw their essence from the Cabernet Franc vines growing from the stony soil on the right side of the Loire River to produce reds and rosés with character in abundance. Preceded by its reputation, Chinon is produced on the other side of the river and is primarily associated with red wine. The Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau appellation offers a rosy and white outlook on life, with the whites eliciting a fresh and fruity taste and the rosés featuring distinctive notes of cherry, redcurrant and lilac. Finally, Noble-Joué, the smallest of the appellations, offers a wine with a rare pale pink hue flecked with grey, flowery notes and hints of Morello cherries.
The riverbanks along Saumur provide the ideal soil for the vineyards producing wines with the Saumur-Champigny, Saumur Brut and Cabernet de Saumur appellations. Saumur-Champigny, a red wine that seemingly dances across the palette, represents a match made in heaven for white meat and fish dishes when young, while its aged version perfectly complements wild game. With a stream of fine bubbles rising elegantly to the surface, a glass of sparkling white or rosé Saumur Brut is the ideal way to open or round off a meal. Lastly, Cabernet de Saumur, a young rosé with an invigorating and refreshing taste, releases aromas of apple, white flowers and red berries, which explains why it is often used as an aperitif.
As the sun ascends heavenwards and casts its rays overs the vineyards snaking their way across the hillsides, the cool cellars dotted throughout the region offer a safe haven for the Loire Valley’s treasured wines. For an insight into their history, engage one of the wine-producers in conversation or pay a visit to one of the museums, or let their history come to you simply by venturing out on a stroll through the region. After satisfying your appetite for history, slake your thirst with a glass of wine from one of the castles in the Grande Maison Younan Collection. Adorned with such names as Sancerre, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Vouvray, Vins de Benay, Mareuil and Côteaux du Layon, their wine lists showcase the region’s treasures and offer a deliciously immersive experience in the Loire Valley.