Chinon, Bourgueil, Azay
Wine tourism with Vignobles & Découvertes: Chinon, Bourgueil, Azay
In the Loire Valley, eight tourism and wine destinations labeled "Vignobles & Découvertes" ("Vineyards & Discoveries") offer quality services and visits. At the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional Loire-Anjou-Touraine, discover the Vignobles & Découvertes destination of Chinon, Bourgueil, Azay, boasting five AOC appellations: Bourgueil, Chinon, Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, Touraine Azay-le-Rideau and Noble Joué.
Whether red, white or rosé, you will discover fruity wines with a strong character. 40 vineyards, a dozen restaurants and a score of locations offering accommodation will guide your wine tourism visit to these exceptional vineyards and the nearby châteaux of the Loire.
Right bank of the Loire: Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil and Bourgueil
Your wine tourism tour begins in the wine-growing region of Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, a fine wine that matures very well with age. This is the only red wines of the Loire to be vinified in a single municipality, and is also made from a single grape variety: Cabernet Franc.
The same is true of its neighbour, Bourgueil, whose reds and rosés come from vines growing on rocky islets, high terraces and limestone hillsides.
On the other side of the Loire, don't forget to visit the Abbey of Fontevraud, an architectural gem, and the Château of Le Rivau and its gardens inspired by wonderful medieval legends.
Left bank: Chinon, Touraine Azay-le-Rideau and Noble Joué
The main destination here is Chinon, a true gem surrounded by vineyards. The prestigious wines bearing the same name (mostly red) are made with the famous Cabernet Franc grapes. For one of the most beautiful views of the expanse of vines, climb to the top of the Royal Fortress of Chinon, overlooking the Vienne and the beautiful old city centre.
Not far from here, where the Loire meets the Indre, you can taste the white and rosé wines of Touraine Azay le Rideau.
After visiting the vineyards, it is just a short distance to the château of Azay le Rideau on its small island and to the Château of Langeais. A little further on lies the town of Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, famous for its goat cheese which pairs extremely well with a glass of Chinon wine.
Finally, discover the smallest Touraine AOC, Noble Joué. This vin gris (white wine made using red grapes) comes from just a few plots and is close to the pretty Château of Villandry and its remarkable gardens.