To inaugurate the beginning of our bonnebouffe tasty travel, we chose the most famous French product, the most exported, the most appreciated. We have the honor to introduce you to French WINE! In France, wine knowhow is spread among different regions and in each region the wine’s taste is totally different. Maybe you have already heard about the most famous, like “Bordeaux”,”Bourgogne” or “Champagne”? These kinds of wine are the most exported and France always turns the spotlight on these regions. All these wines are excellent, a lot of media can teach you lots of things about these wines but it is not enough for us. We weren’t excited to discover their famous wines, we wanted another challenge. We didn’t want to speak about “jet set French wine”… we wanted authenticity, we wanted a culture, we wanted taste!
That’s why we decided to discover the “vallée de la Loire” which is a region in the west of France.
Vallée de la Loire : a land of opportunity. Great wine at a fair price.
In the middle ages, these vineyards were the most famous in the world thanks to Henri II, comte d’anjou, who won the English “Game of Thrones”. 16th century, the region had a huge expansion thanks to the dredging of the Loire which gave a big boost to the wine trade.
The “vallée de la Loire” had a flourishing economy thanks to wine export.
Unfortunately, the French revolution and then the counter-revolution in the Loire valley were the first major blows to the region. Then, the vineyard diseases, phylloxera, which destroyed all the vineyards in France, was a fatal hit. For the Vallée de la Loire’s wine it was Game Over. This double tragedy propelled the region’s wine industry into obscurity.
After phylloxera, all wine making regions in France had to import vines from USA, which were resistant to these bacteria. Among French wine producing regions it was the beginning of a new wine race and the valley didn’t have enough funds to win. The valley was outrun by Bordeaux, Bourgogne or Champagne. Years after year, the valley disappeared from the public memory.
Our journey in this promised land began like a very bad trip!
In this taste quest, we were both euphoric and heartbroken. This region is very large, you have a huge selection of vineyards. At first, we couldn’t find what we were searching for. We tasted a lot of normal wine, not exalting… we tasted very good wine too but too expensive. We were fallen like Little Thumb in this valley and thought about following our stones back out of the valley. We stayed a little while in front of a troglodyte cavern. In Saumur you could see lots of these medieval caverns. Now the cavern still exists but there are dwellings inside. Restaurant have their rooms inside, it is really impressive. And at one point, we didn’t know if it was a alcoholic illusion or not, but we heard a big “DO IT”, me and my friend looked at each other and we heard again “DO IT!” We felt like David vs Goliath and decided to walk up and… DO IT!
And we made the right choice because the Loire Valley is just amazing, it is :
- The biggest vineyard in France, it is more than 800 square KM.
- More than 50 AOC with red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, rosé.
- 1 of the 10 European vineyards which is registered as a UNESCO heritage site.
- 12 cépages.
Finally we stayed in a land called “L’Anjou”. It is a place fragmented into lots of little vineyards. All the terroir are different, and you can find plenty of different wines.
you can’t find a diversity like that in any other place in France
In France, all the region have their savoir-faire and the vineyards in the same region make the same kind of wine. But in “Anjou” you can find gorgeous white wine next to sparkling wine, next to beautiful red wine. You can find all you need. You can go directly to the producer and buy all you want at a price between 7€ and 12€.
If you come to France to taste wine, you must go there, you can’t come to France without coming to Anjou if you want to taste wine!