Are tempted to visit the Vouvray wine region in the Loire Valley, France?
The Loire Valley owes its worldwide fame to most sublime Renaissance Château that board the Loire river. Loire Valley vineyards, on their side, are home to dominant wine appellations, all the more prestigious around the world, like the Vouvray appellation. But do you really know what Vouvray wine is about? And if the city of Vouvray is worth visiting if you plan a stay in the Loire Valley region?
Vouvray is an essential stop on the Loire Wine Route. Follow our guide to discover everything you have always wanted to know about the vine, the making of wine, the profession of winegrower… and of course tasting!
Let’s explore the Vouvray wine region together!
- Where is the Vouvray wine region?
- About the Vouvray wine region
- Best wine tours and tastings in Vouvray wineries
- The Vouvray Producers Cellar
- Best things to do in Vouvray – Top 3 ideas
- FAQ & Useful resources
Where is the Vouvray wine region?
In the heart of the Loire Valley wine region, in the Indre-et-Loire department, the Vouvray appellation is defined on the north bank of the Loire river. It gathers the cities of Tours and Amboise, but also small villages, including the village of Vouvray of course. One of Loire Valley vineyards’ most renowned appellation, with Sancerre, the Vouvray terroir is exploited by dozens of wineries who grow Chenin Blanc grape variety with tremendous care and passion.
About the Vouvray wine region
Before telling you more on where to sip Chenin Blanc wine, let’s take a look at the Vouvray wine region specificities to understand more about this unique wine appellation.
About Vouvray Chenin Blanc
Grown in several parts of the worlds like South Africa, California, Australia or Argentina, Chenin Blanc has been grown around the Loire river since the 16th century, thanks to Dutch merchants who planted Chenin Blanc vines in Tours and surrounding villages. Indeed, the Loire Valley wine region is highly fertile, and the terroir’s soil is optimum for Chenin Blanc growing: chalky and clayey – which makes the Loire territory a privileged geographical location for planting Chenin Blanc vines.
Devoted to excellency and respecting the undeniable elegance of Chenin Blanc grape variety, Vouvray winegrowers take special care during harvest time, making it one of the latest harvests to be concluded in France.
Different kinds of Vouvray wine
Back in the day, around the 17th century, the Dutch have built wine cellars from tuffeau rocks, the same that were used to build Loire Castles, which created cellars particularly effective for aging Chenin Blanc sparkling wines. Today, winegrowers keep on creating two main kinds of Vouvray wine:
_ Still: still Vouvray wine is characterized by a variation of sweetness. A dry Vouvray wine will taste quite mineral, while the Demi-Sec will give notes of sweet apple, pear, quince, acacia and white flower. Those higher in sugar, the Moelleux and Doux will feel creamier and tend toward liquor characteristics: notes of ripe fruit flavor and aroma.
_ Sparkling: named Vouvray Mousseux and Vouvray Pétillant, winemakers actualy use traditiona Champagne methods to give birth to sparkling Vouvray wines. The latter is differentiated by more powerful aromas.
Best wine tours and tastings in Vouvray wineries
The Marc Brédif cellars
The Marc Brédif cellars are located on the quays of the Loire. Beyond the tasting of its wines, the Domaine Marc Brédif also offers you a wide range of activities around wine: troglodyte cellar, tasting and dishes. A domain labeled by the Val De Loire region which rewards the quality of its welcome.
The Domaine de Moncontour welcomes you for tastings of its “still”, “sparkling”, “traditional methods” and “Crémants de Loire” wines. On site, in the old cellars of the castle, a museum is entirely dedicated to the profession of winegrower. You will thus be able to contemplate old tools for maintaining the vines and processing the grapes such as an old press, a multitude of wicker baskets which were used to transport the grapes, old wine barrels, old newspaper articles … All the local heritage linked to the wine-growing activity is exposed here for everyone to see, and makes this visit a real cultural and educational outing.
The Wine Area in Vouvray
The Espace du Vin aims to inform all amateurs visiting Vouvray to answer their questions and facilitate their wine tourism stay. In particular, find a producer and taste their wines. It is also an educational space, decorated with photos of the vineyard.
The Vouvray Producers Cellar
Visiting the Cave de Vouvray is a real journey into the world of Vouvray. A journey in several stages, from the vine to the glass. After passing through the “Follow the Chenin” space, you will cross 3 kilometers of troglodyte galleries where 6 million bottles sleep.
The Caves Caves of Domaine Bourillon-Dorleans
At the Bourillon Dorléans estate, the cellars are not only sculpted in the rock but the rock wall itself was sculpted by local artists. This beautiful rock work retraces the life of Saint-Martin and Vouvray wine. Unique in its kind, this cellar, with its master carpets on the floor, as soon as you cross the threshold, sofas facing each other, chandeliers on the barrels, counters and high chairs to taste the range of wines, and Mozart or lounge music in the speakers. Thus, we advance, a glass of Vouvray in hand, from fresco to fresco.
Best things to do in Vouvray – Top 3 ideas
1. Stroll through the vineyards of Vouvray
Depending on the season, the walk will always reveal a new perspective. Golden colors of autumn (think of boots), invigorating freshness of soft green in spring, sunny and contrasting colors of the summer period…
Meet in the vineyards
Myriam Fouasse-Robert invites you to immerse yourself, for half a day, in the daily life of a family wine estate and awakens your senses with her activities around wine and flavors.
Vineyards Wines Rando
Each year Vignes Vins Rando invites you to discover or rediscover the vineyards of the Loire Valley. Guided by a winemaker, you set off for a 3-hour walk punctuated by tastings, food & wine pairings and discovering wine-making know-how.
2. Buy specialties in Vouvray
The Vouvrillon Garden
Head to Jardin Vouvrillon to stock up on good products. This store with its green front is full of treasures: whiskies, cognacs, champagnes, rums, and grands crus from all regions of France, the choice is vast. There are also delicatessen on sale: fruit and vegetables, cheeses, jams, vinegars, oils, original terrines, biscuits, local products, and a variety of more than 60 teas. A great address for gourmets, those who appreciate good local produce and for all tourists who wish to bring back good memories of the Pays du Vouvray.
The bakery Le Vouvrillon offers you its Vouvrillon, a cake that looks like a Breton shortbread, with a soft heart. It is a cake that goes very well with Vouvray.
Here hams, sausages and pâtés go hand in hand with the three undisputed stars of Vouvray: pork rillons, rillettes from Tours made in Hardouin and andouillette à la ficelle.
3. Visit beautiful cities near Vouvray
Not far from Vouvray, take the opportunity to visit the city of Tours or Amboise where you can visit another wine museum at the Ambacia cellars.
For more activities on the Loire Valley region, you can also consider:
- Visiting Loire Châteaux;
- Doing bike rides along the many cycling routes;
- Booking a Guided Tour in the Loire Valley;
- Visiting the city of Saumur;
- Visiting the city of Chinon.
As you can see, there is plenty to do or a trip to France in the Loire Valley! And in case you are settling in Paris and wonder if you can visit this region for a day trip, click here to see what you can do!
FAQ & Useful resources
What wine region is Vouvray in?
Vouvray wine comes from the Loire Valley wine region of France, in the Tourraine district.
Is Vouvray a grape or a region?
Vouvray AOC is a wine appellation of the Loire Valley wine region in France, but also the name of one of the region’s villages.
What grape is used to make Vouvray wine?
In the Vouvray wine region in France, the main grape variety that has been grown for centuries is Chenin Blanc.
What is Chenin Blanc in France?
Chenin Blanc is the grape variety that comes from the Loire Valley in France, as part of the Vouvray wine appellation. It gives birth to sparkling or settled white wines.