The vine existed on the banks of the Loire before the invasion of the Gaul. The Romans invaded this region around 22 AD. According to a popular legend, it was St. Martin and his disciples who first planted vines around 380 AD, when the Marmoutier Abbey was founded near Tours. At the time, experience showed that red wines were better, more alcoholic and colourful on the clay-siliceous plateaux, while the limestone soils rich in pebbles or flint were better suited to the white grape varieties, which gave headier, more fragrant and sweeter wines. The Loire River does not run alongside a single region but a succession of diverse regions with different aptitudes. The natural richness of this region appears to be due both to the mildness of the climate, the luminosity of the sky and the great work of the waters; erosion notching the hills of Reuilly-sur-Loire and Sancerrois, the chalk of Orleans to beyond Saumur, and wearing away the hard rocks of schist, gneiss and granite, from Angers to Nantes; erosion digging valleys where cities and communication routes could be established, and the limestone or siliceous slopes exposed to the sun and sheltered from the hostile breath of the winds, where the white vines settled; the supply of alluvium torn from the upper slopes of the rivers, which formed the fertile plains of the low, silty or sandy valleys, with their meadows, their nurseries, their rich market gardening, and the high plains of the old terraces where the red vines spread out.
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We advise you the great Saumur-Champigny wines with the Clos Rougeard, the Sancerres with Didier Dagueneau, and many other gems from the Vallée de la Loire.