Definition - What does Loire mean?
Loire is a wine region located in Northern France. It is divided into three main subregions with much smaller subregions; Lower Loire, including Pays Nantais, the Middle Loire with Anjou, Saumur and Touraine and Upper Loire, including Centre. In 1935, the region was recognized as an Appellation d'origine Contrôlée (AOC). Wine styles here range from dry to full-bodied white wines and medium-bodied to full-bodied red wines.
WineFrog explains Loire
The wine region of Loire began by the Romans when they conquered Gaul during the 1st Century AD. They began planting vines along the Loire river and over time it expanded significantly from north to south of the river.
Wine styles vary from region to region. Pays Nantais is known for Pinot Gris and Folle Blanche.
The Lower Loire is known for its Muscadet AOP wines, which is the largest appellation of the Loire Valley. However, they also make light red wines made from Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cabernet Franc.
The Middle Loire mainly produces sparkling wines from Chenin Blanc. One of the most famous Chenic Blanc wines is that from Savennières AOP. It is also famous for bold Cabernet Franc wines. The wide variety of wines outside of those include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Upper Loire is the smallest subregion of the valley, and they are most famous for Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé wines. The famous soils here are those of Kimmeridgian limestone, which impart a signature aroma and finish of a special minerality to these delicate white wines.