Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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France’s most famous river and name of one of its most varied wine regions which produces France’s third biggest volume of wine after bordeaux and the rhône. Loire wines are greatly appreciated locally and in Paris, but—with the famous exceptions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé—are still widely underrated outside France. This may be partly because the Loire’s best red wines are often distinguished by their freshness and delicacy rather than by their weight and longevity, and because so many of its finest white wines are made solely from Chenin Blanc, a grape variety associated with some rather ordinary wine outside the middle Loire: Anjou-Saumur and Touraine.