The Loire Valley, every wine lover’s paradise.
The Loire Valley is famous for its several chateaux, but this region has a second advantage: its vineyards. Home to the most gorgeous, essential, and dynamic vineyards in France, come and discover what this valley has to offer.
For a list of chateaux to visit, check out:5 Magnificent French Chateaux To Explore In Loire Valley.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Loire Valley is situated in the region of the Val de Loire. Following the Loire River, this valley is home to all sorts of hidden gems. To either, visit the chateaux or have a wine tasting, it is preferable to drive there, especially if you are coming from Paris. We suggest planning a road trip! On the way, you will pass through Blois, Orleans, Tours…etc., the perfect opportunity to sightsee. You can also bike or kayak down the river if you wish!
Another option would be to take the train from Paris to Tours, however, you will have to rent a car if you desire to travel in the area.
Fun fact! There are 24 varieties of grapes grown in the Loire Valley. This region is mostly known for its white wines but if you prefer red or rosé, keep reading! Here is our selection of the three vineyards you have to visit!
Domaine Huet – L’Échansonne
11 Rue de la Croix Buisée, 37210 Vouvray, France
This 30-hectare long vineyard is world-renowned for producing the most exquisite white wines from the grape: chenin blanc. Sweet, dry, semi-dry, or sparkling? Take your pick! Founded in 1928 by Victor Huet and his son, this family vineyard is guaranteed to make you fall in love. You can either; visit this ancestral vineyard for a wine tasting or order the wine bottles online. Alongside its famous white wines, this vineyard has a second claim to fame: an agriculture based on organic farming. If you decide to stop by this vineyard, be sure to ask the owners for a tour of the cellar; you will not be disappointed.
Le Domaine des Amandiers
2 Rue Moulin Château Gaillard, 49730 Turquant, France
This vineyard near Saumur, is perched on the hills overlooking the Loire River. This domain – constitutes 10 hectares – extends over 3 communes. There is a large list of wines to choose from, such as: Saumur, Saumur-Champigny, Crémant de Loire, and many more. There are three ways in which you can taste the vineyard’s wines: on site, in wine salons (there are 15 per year,) or by ordering them online. The vineyard is a family business; run by a father and his son: Marc and Etienne Rideau. The wines are produced and kept in troglodytic cellars typical of the Saumur region, which you can visit.
Domaine Charles Joguet
La Dioterie, 37220 Sazilly, France
This vineyard founded in 1957 by Charles Joguet, is known for producing 7 or 8 types of wine per year. Whether you like red or white, this domain has both. Comprised of 34 hectares in total, 32 are dedicated to red grapes (cabernet franc) and 2 hectares to white ones (chenin blanc.) The grape harvest is done by hand in a delicate way. The domain offers many choices as you are tasting the wine, including: a tour, having lunch in the cellar, a visit of the harvests…etc. If you are thinking about planning a group vacation, this vineyard can receive up to 40 people per group.
The vineyard has the organic farming certification since 2016.
Here is our top selection for the restaurants in the valley. This was a hard choice!
Restaurant Les Closeaux
Lieu-dit Les Closeaux, 41400 Vallières-les-Grandes, France
Set in the heart of the vineyards, this lovely restaurant offers you the chance to eat in a bucolic setting. The structure built in the 16th century served as a hunting lodge for the kings at the time. Surrounded by the forest, you can enjoy a meal in total serenity on the outdoor terrace, while also partaking in numerous activities, including: tennis, fishing, hiking…etc. Chef Christophe Lunais offers you a range of local products revisited in his own way. You can enjoy duck filet, creamy goat cheese, veal steak, candid beets or even tarte Tatin paired with a fine bottle of wine. It is a very friendly restaurant which you will not regret eating at.
La Cave aux Fouées
476 Quai des Violettes, 37400 Amboise, France
This restaurant is one of a kind. Step into a unique setting and discover a restaurant established in a troglodytic cave, near Amboise. Mostly known for its original spot, this restaurant has another specialty: la fouée. This Touraine delicacy consists of a pocket of sourdough bread filled with all sorts of local products: goat cheese, rillette…etc. All cooking is done in a wood-fired oven. Expert in French traditional old-fashioned cuisine, this restaurant is a must-do and a must-see!
25 Rue de Chambord, 41350 Montlivault
This beautiful yet modest restaurant is the work of the Michelin-starred chef Christophe Hay, and his second in command: Nicolas Aubry. Located near the chateau of Chambord, these two chefs offer a variety of French traditional dishes prepared with local products. Wanting to make gastronomy affordable to all, the prices are very reasonable! You can enjoy dishes, such as: filet mignon, grilled sturgeon, chestnut crème brulé…etc. The interior of the restaurant is both spacious and contemporary which makes it the perfect stop to eat lunch on the way to another chateau!
There are numerous hotels to stay at in the Loire Valley, it all depends on which chateaux you want to visit. Nevertheless, here are the three hotels we recommend you stay at!
The Hotel of Biencourt
7 Rue Balzac, 37190 Azay-le-Rideau, France
This hotel embodies the word “charm” in itself. Located in Azay-le-Rideau, near Tours, this hotel is set in the pedestrian street leading to the castle. It was originally an inn: The White Horse Inn, where “the palm game” – known today as tennis – was played. Later on, the inn was transformed into a Napoleonic school for young girls, however, the site was changed back into a hotel in 1956. Established in an edifice built between the 17th and 19th century, this hotel is the definition of a safe haven with its flowery interior patio. Moreover, all of their products from the breakfast buffet are locally sourced. To visit the town, free bikes are at your disposition.
The Tortiniere Domain
10 Route de Ballan, 37250 Veigné, France
This enchanting four-star hotel is situated near Tours as well. With its restaurant, bar, swimming pool, spa, tennis court, and 15-hectare park, this hotel is a combination of French luxury and elegance. The hotel was built by the Dalloz family under the Second Empire and has the perfect position in the valley. The restaurant – mentioned in the Michelin guide as a great address – is set in the former orangery. Besides from being a hotel, this structure also serves as a museum. Indeed, while strolling down the corridors, you can admire the paintings as well as the old furniture. The hotel also offers its clients the opportunity to rent a rowboat and row on the Indre River. What better way to enjoy a much-needed vacation?
Les Hautes Roches
86 quai de la Loire, 37210 Rochecorbon, France
Les Hautes Roches is a lovely provincial hotel. This 18th century manor is perched on the hills offering a spectacular view of the Loire River, while being surrounded by the forest. This domain has the advantage of being the first luxury troglodyte hotel in France. Composed of 14 rooms, this hotel is not big, which enhances its charm. Secluded yet comforting, the hotel is an escape in itself. In their 1-star Michelin restaurant, the chef proposes a classic seafaring cuisine, such as: grilled turbot with béarnaise sauce from India. Both a charming hotel and a fairly chic restaurant, Les Hautes Roches is a two-for-one special!
Eve kayaked down the Loire River. She visited the chateaux, the Huet Domain, and stayed two times at the Hotel of Biencourt.