The Rugby World Cup 2023 is coming to France, and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy not only the thrilling matches, but also the beautiful scenery, culture, and wine of the host country. If you are planning to attend the games in Nantes, you might want to explore the nearby region of Loire Valley, which is famous for its vineyards and chateaux.
The Loire Valley is the largest UNESCO World Heritage site in France, and it stretches for about 1,000 kilometers along the Loire River, from Sancerre to Nantes. It has a diverse and rich wine heritage, with 85 appellations and a variety of grapes and styles. Whether you prefer red, white, rosé, dry, sweet, or sparkling wine, you will find something to suit your taste in the Loire Valley.
In this post, we will suggest five locations that you can visit between Tours and Nantes, where you can taste the authentic flavors of the Loire terroir and learn more about the history and tradition of winemaking in this region.
These locations are easily accessible by car or public transport from Nantes or Tours, and they offer guided tours, tastings, and other activities for visitors.
Domaine Landron Chartier is located in Ancenis, about 40 kilometers east of Nantes. It is a family-run estate that produces organic and biodynamic wines from the Muscadet appellation.
The domaine covers 20 hectares of vineyards, planted with Melon de Bourgogne, Gamay, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Gris grapes.
The wines are aged on lees in underground cellars, giving them complexity and freshness.You can visit the domaine and taste their wines in a cozy tasting room.
You can also enjoy a picnic in the vineyards or a walk along the Loire River.
Gratien & Meyer is a historic sparkling wine house in Saumur, about 80 kilometers south of Tours. It was founded in 1864 by Alfred Gratien, a Champagne native who wanted to produce high-quality sparkling wines in the Loire Valley.
Today, the house is owned by the German family Henkell Freixenet, and it produces about 6 million bottles of sparkling wine per year.
The house has impressive cellars carved into the tuffeau stone cliffs overlooking the Loire River. The cellars are 5 kilometers long and can store up to 5 million bottles of wine at a constant temperature of 12°C.
You can visit the cellars and discover the traditional method of making sparkling wine, as well as taste their range of products, from Brut to Rosé to Demi-Sec.
Domaine de Rocheville is situated in Parnay, about 10 kilometers east of Saumur. It is a modern and elegant estate that produces organic wines from the Saumur-Champigny appellation. The domaine covers 25 hectares of vineyards, planted with Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc grapes. The wines are aged in oak barrels or amphorae in a state-of-the-art cellar.
You can visit the domaine and taste their wines. You can also admire their contemporary art collection.
Caves Ambacia is located in Amboise, about 25 kilometers east of Tours. It is not exactly a vineyard but a cellar with different wines from different appellations of the Loire Valley.
The cellar has a large underground gallery where you can see how wine is made using different methods and techniques.
It also has a shop where you can buy their wines and other local products.
Troglo Degusto is a unique wine tourism concept in Bourré, about 40 kilometers east of Tours. It is a wine bar and restaurant located in a troglodyte cave, a natural limestone cavity that was used as a quarry and a cellar in the past.
The cave is owned by Domaine des Tabourelles, a family-run estate that produces wines from the Touraine appellation.
You can visit the cave and taste their wines in a rustic and cozy atmosphere. You can also enjoy their cuisine, made with fresh and local ingredients, such as goat cheese, mushrooms, and truffles. The cave also hosts events (including for kids !) throughout the year.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and that it inspired you to discover the Loire Valley vineyards during your stay in France for the Rugby World Cup 2023. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Cheers! 🍷