When it comes to private Loire Valley wine tours departing from Paris as a day tour, there are three prime destinations. We suggest either of them: the Vouvray-Montlouis sector next to Tours, the Sancerre-Pouilly Fumé area of the Nièvre, or Chinon on the western border of Touraine with Anjou. There is a lot to be said for each. Either way, these Loire Valley wine tours take you on a two hour drive from Paris to some of the most attractive and renowned wine producing areas of France, in a delightful full day excursion.
For our Vouvray & Montlouis and our Chinon day tours, we can also use the TGV (high speed train) from Paris to Tours and back (one hour each way), switching a a rental vehicle at the St. Pierre des Corps TGV hub, just outside Tours. This increases the tour cost slightly, but it ensures that you will not have to cope with traffic bottlenecks while returning to Paris, which often adds an extra hour to that trajectory.
A Loire Valley wine tour of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé treats you to the pleasures of dry white wines made from the sauvignon blanc grape in a limestone-rich terroir that can produce astonishing and rarely-seen complexity for this grape. We will take you to such domains as those of Didier Dagueneau near Pouilly sur Loire and Henri Bourgeois in Chavignol, near Sancerre. We suggest one wine estate visit in each appellation, separated by a memorable country meal, such as at La Tour in Sancerre. There is also a red wine produced in the Sancerre appellation, using the pinot noir varietal that is used so extensively in neighboring Burgundy.
Our private Loire Valley wine tour of Vouvray and Montlouis explores the world of the chenin blanc grape in clay and gravel soil above the tuffeau (a soft limestone found abundantly in the region), near the Loire River, where the white wines can be either dry or sweet. We can take you to the domains of Huet l’Echansonne in Vouvray and Francois Chidaine or Jacky Blot in Montlouis. We also recommend a delightful lunch at a seductive bistro such as le Sainte Honoré in Tours, or at the ‘Auberge du Bon Laboureur’ in Chenonceaux.
Our private tour of Chinon puts the focus primarily on red wines that are produced from the cabernet franc varietal that is also used extensively in the right bank of Bordeaux. Traditionally Chinon’s red wines were much lighter, but that has evolved in the last few decades, and Chinon’s red wines now can be quite fleshy. Should you be interested, there are producers in Chinon who practise bio-dynamism, such as the Domain de la Noblaie, who make wonderful wines. The same is true in Vouvray, where Huet l’Echansonne is a practitioner.
The Vouvray and Montlouis appellations are in the most romantic and royal part of the Loire Valley. If you wish, we can limit the wine tastings to two, to reserve some time to also visit a château, such as at near-by Amboise, or even Leonardo da Vinci’s last home, Le Clos-Lucé.
For more information about our private Loire Valley wine tours or to schedule your excursion, please contact us at our US number (631) 600-1120.