This wine tour focuses on the vineyards either side of the Upper Loire Valley roughly 200km south-west of Paris. Due to the xecellent conditions and the proximity of the beautiful river Loire, wine-growing tradition here goes back to the Roman period. But it was in the early middle ages that the developpment of the great monasteries gave a huge impetus to the development of the vineyards and wine-making knowledge in general.
The predominantly limestone soils and semi-continental climate make this home to some of the finest Sauvignon blanc wines in the world, with household names such as Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé being the best known. And at one of the family run estates in Pouilly-sur-Loire you will be able to taste a little-known but delicious white wine made from the Chasselas grape variety.
Your trip with us will also take you off the beaten track to explore some of the lesser but equally interesting appellations such as the Coteaux du Giennois, Menetou-Salon, Reuilly, Quincy and Reuilly, where you will discover some « hidden » gems at great prices!
And red wine lovers, please do not despair, the region also produces some great pinots, especially from the vineyards around Sancerre.
Your Sancerre / Pouilly-sur-Loire wine tour with us will also be an opportunity to taste and find out about organic, biodynamic and "natural" wines and the the environmentally-friendly vineyard and cellar techniques.
And by the way, your wine trip will also be a gastronomic experience as we select some great places for you where you can enjoy the delicious local cuisine.
10.59am pick up from Cosne-sur-Loire train station. Introduction to the wines of the Central Loire Valley. Check into hotel and lunch. This afternoon will be spent in the very attractive historic town of Sancerre where you will enjoy your first visit to a prestigious local winemaker and start learning about the history of wine-making in the region and the art of making world class Sauvignon blanc wines. A must is a short historical walking tour of the town which was a former Huguenot bastion as well as enjoying commanding views over the famous Loire river.
This morning we will be in the stunning vineyards around Sancerre where you will visit a local winemaker who will explain the diversity of the terroir and the different styles of Sancerre wines.
Lunch is in a typical local bistro where you can enjoy a selection of the local specialties washed down with some of the delicious wines of the region. This afternoon will be spent exploring the lesser known wine-growing districts of Mentou Salon and Reuilly where you will visit several producers of the excellent Sauvignon Blancs that are produced here, as well as some rare Pinot Noirs. You will also be introduced to the fascinating subject of organic and biodynamic winemaking practices.
Hotel check out. This morning you will be taken to another mecca for all Sauvignon blanc lovers, Pouilly Sur Loire where a visit to a local winery and vineyards will be your opportunity to learn the art of making some of these much sought-after white wines.
After a delicious lunch, the afternoon will be dedicated to an appellation which is hardly known outside of France, Les Côteaux du Giennois which produces some very good Sauvignon Blancs, and a few reds, both at excellent prices. 5.00 pm Drop off Cosne-sur-Loire train station
My name is Nicholas Borland and I'm originally from the UK. My professional experience in wine and tourism has been long and varied and has included, amongst others, working as a wine buyer and sommelier for boutique hotels, putting together wine lists for restaurants, a specialised wine tour guide for luxury hotel barges, a « wine hunter » for Scandinavian importers as well as organising and conducting wine-tastings to Wine Societies in the UK, Germany and Holland.I have also completed my WSET Level 3 and and obtained a certificate in Advanced Tasting Techniques from the Wine University in Suze-la-Rousse". I love sharing my knowledge of wine and spirits with people interested in the topics. I have a passion for how wine is made, from the methods used to the history of the grapes. If you would like to learn more about wine, join me in my Facebook group by signing up below to using the form. I talk about wines, answer all the questions you may have about it growing techniques, history, and even organise webinars for the group members where I talk about wine in a bit more detail. Hope to welcome you there soon!BOOK YOUR TOUR WITH NICK