06 February 2011

Wines of the Loire Valley

I'm exhausted after yesterday's discussion of picture framing terminology in French. I wish we could get the two pieces we are having framed back sooner, but the woman at the shop in Montrichard said it would take three to four weeks.

I wish too that I could find an image of the map of the wine appellations, towns, and villages of the Loire Valley that I'm having mounted and framed. None seems to exist on the web, however, and I don't think I've ever taken a picture of the poster. It's been rolled up in a plastic tube, and put away in a closet, for about five years, since I bought it in Paris.

Here, for your map-viewing pleasure, is another map I found on the web. It shows all the appellations from the mouth of the Loire, down on the Atlantic coast, up to Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire, which are some 400 km/250 mi. east.

I've indicated Saint-Aignan on the map (the placement is approximate). It's 40 km/25 mi. south of Blois and 60 km/35 mi. east of Tours. Paris, by the way, is about an hour north of Orleáns (which is shown on the map) by train or car.

Saint-Aignan is in the Touraine wine appellation area, over where it borders on the Valençay appellation area (Valençay is a fairly recent AOC). Bourgueil and Chinon (red wines made with Cabernet Franc grapes) and Vouvray and Montlouis (white wines made with Chenin Blanc grapes) are in Touraine but have their own appellations.

In the Touraine appellation, both red and white wines, still and sparkling, are made using a variety of grapes. Around Saint-Aignan, the traditional red wine is a blend — un assemblage — of juices from Gamay, Cabernet Franc, and Côt/Malbec grapes. White wines here are mostly Sauvignon Blanc, with some Chardonnay and some Chenin Blanc whites as well.


  1. Hi Ken, glad you and Walt managed to find a picture framer in Montrichard. Is the following map similar to yours?

  2. Hello McCork, that's not exactly the same map either. I think ours covers only the Touraine, not the Anjou. But now I'm having my doubts. The map of course is at the framer's for the duration.

  3. Here's a link to the map McCork talks about.

  4. If you type in the following in Google: "carte vins de touraine" and then click on "images" you will get a large selection of maps. Maybe you will find yours there?

  5. Nope, Anonymous, still don't find it. I'll have to wait until the poster comes back, framed, from the shop.

  6. Interesting. I too remember "passe-partout" being used in the UK to mean an early sort of sticky-tape (in my experience, based on woven cloth of some sort) to wrap round the edges of a piece of glass and the backing, though I haven't see it used for a while (too many ready-made clip-on frames, no doubt). Odd how words shift reference like that when they cross borders.


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