My Loire valley adventure by bike: final part

After already having had a wonderful time in the Loire, it got even better! Not only did I get to visit some of the most well-known vineyards in the Loire valley, I also got to go around the Vitiloire wine fair together with the one and only Miss Vicky Wine. For you who don’t know her, she’s the coolest wine chick in France that knows a loooooooot about wine. So lucky me :-). My preferred wine houses I got to try were Lionel Gosseaume (loved his white wines aka Les Sauterelles) and Domaine des  Ouches (for the red wines). So if you ever get the chance to try them, please do so 🙂

The next day we were all ready again to ride our bikes through more or the beautiful landscapes of the Loire Valley or better around Saumur. The architectural character of the town owes much to the fact that it is constructed almost exclusively of the beautiful, but also fragile Tuffeau stone and indeed gives a very unique touch to this region.

Not only is it known for its architectural sites, it is also well  known for its sparkeling wines. Did you know that most Champagne brands like Bollinger, Taittinger ,… own lots of vineyards in this region. They have done this as the soil caves around Saumur is perfect  are perfect to make some of the best sparkeling wines around. One of the best examples would be Langlois-Chateau (fyi, chateau is a family name, not indication of a castle), is owned by Bollinger. It is already long before it got taken over by Bollinger, that this vineyard had a big tradition in making sparkeling (since 1885) and it is indeed one of the best you’ll try and the best part is that Cremant de Loire as this wine is called is much cheaper than champagne 🙂 (I like) (FYI, their other wines are also very good)

2 Vineyards you should also try to visit are ‘Clos du Cristal’ and ‘Chateau de Targé’, there are 2 reasons for this, first of all for the wines and second of all to hear them  talk with all their passion about their life work  … oh and also because the vineyards are beautiful… I’ll let the pictures speak for me 🙂


In case you would feel hungry, I would suggest going to restaurant L’Hélianthe and here again, the pictures will do the talking.

I really hope that all of this has convinced you to travel to the Loire! I enjoyed it very much, even with all the effort of cycling :-). For more info on the Loire you can always look on the website of Vins de Loire

My Loire adventure by bike: part 2

Lucky for us we could start our first day of cycling in sunny weather. For me it was a little bit to warm (or I was just dressed to warm), because it sure wasn’t because of my bad shape ;-). The first day took us from Tours to Rochecorbon

To get to our first vineyard ‘Maison Brédif’ located in Rochecorbon, we cycled through the beautiful vineyards or Vouvray. This thanks to Christophe Marzais (from Détours de Loire) our guide. What seemed for a walk in the park for Christophe, was a little tougher for the rest of us 🙂 (not the downhill part)

But the ‘paysages’ were really nice!

Where are my manners, I’ m always talking about us, but I didn’t even introduce my cycle buddies… Please find my cycle buddies on the picture below (They made the trip even better!). FYI, we just came of our bikes when this picture was taken, so nooooo judgment please 🙂

As said, our first stop was at vineyard ‘Maison Brédif’ located in Rochecorbon.  Founded in 1893!

What I liked about all the vineyards  we’ve visited (also at Maison Brédif)  is that you can really see and feel the history they’ve all been through and they have the most beautiful cellar you could possibly imagine (If I think of wine cellars, these are the ones I think about). So I would really recommend if you would come to the Loire valley, to stop at some vineyards.

Ok, now it might get a little bit technical, but what do we need to know from the region around Rochecorbon/ Vouvray? Maybe the diversity of the soil here, that changes from parcel to parcel. It goes from very sandy clay to chalky clay… which results to a big difference in the flavor the grapes will be having (even if they are the same kind of grapes). If you don’t believe me, just pick a grape on every different type of soil and compare 🙂

Even though you can also find red wines in the Vouvray region, it are mostly the white wines that are well known (and best, if you ask me). FYI, all grapes get picked by hand!

Of course we also tried wines 🙂 , that was the reason of all the effort of cycling, right? If I would and could generalize the Vourvray wines (but maybe I shouldn’t, but I will 🙂 ) I would say that most Vourvray wines are actually sweeter wines with touches of exotic fruit like pineapple or Quince .

The most special wine we were fortunate enough to taste was the Vouvray Collection from 1959, which got a cognac color during the aging process. FYI, did you know that normally white wines are better for aging for years instead of red wines?! (Neither did I, so never too old to learn). You would think it would get sweeter, but it doesn’t 🙂

After this last tasty wine at Brédif, we jumped (more or less) on our bikes to head towards the Vitiloire wine fair. But more about that in the next blogpost…

My Loire valley adventure by bike

What does one think about when thinking of the Loire Valley? Most people (including me) would b say that the first thing they think about is castles, which is indeed something we cannot ignore. Chateau Chambord would be one of the famous ones, but there are many more beauties across the valley.

What surprises me though is that not so many people would be think of wine when they think of the Loire, unlike for example Bordeaux where people would instantly think of wine. I can say for a fact that the Loire valley is one of the regions with some of the best French wines just think of Sancerre or  Pouilly Fume as most welknown, but there are also wines like Chenin Blanc, Chinon, Cremant de Loire, Malbac,….

When they first asked me if I wanted to join to do a wine tour through the Loire valley, I didn’t hesitate long. First of all because I had never been there and secondly I was sure that I would actually see that the Loire Valley is more than ‘Chateaus ‘. What I didn’t really didn’t take into account, was that it was a tour through the Valley by bike :-).

I honestly have to admit that I have underestimated the bike ride, not that I’m so out of shape, but some of those climbing’s were pretty tough! BUT, I’m really glad that I did it by bike as I got to see things that you just would see when taking a tour bus or car. The next best thing would be doing it by Vespa 🙂

We obviously couldn’t cycle through the whole Loire valley in 2 days. For the first day the choice fell on Tours which would be seen as the capital of the Loire Valley and the second day we would be visiting the region around Saumur.

Stay tuned if you want to read more about my adventure in the Loire valley….