This is a follow up post to article Top place to see castles in Europe – Loire Valley where I already start to present my traveling though this amazing country, with beautiful landscape and numerous breath taking castles.
In life of river Loire is the importance of wines immediately noticeable. On sunny slopes we could see carefully arranged vineyards which are spreading out 300 miles along the river, offering a wide range of very different wines.
On her long journey to the ocean, river Loire travels through different climate zones, from the mainland all the way to gradually wet climate, so consequently the vineyards in her banks receive far different meteorological conditions. This diversity is reflected in the characters of wines.
Loire Valley in France is in third place by the quantity production of wines, which by their quality and popularity could be contending with famous wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy.
On roads, we were accompanied with tags, offering wine tastings. This is a wine tasting as nowhere in the world. In surroundings of Saumuria is organized an interesting tour about the complex method process by which they produce champenoise, which manufactures well known sparkling wine that cannot be champagne.
At mild climate, a land full of fruit from which they produced a number of alcoholic drinks, including the most famous “eaux de vie” water of life, which is similar to the cognac and it should be drink as a digestive, after a meal. The most popular appetizer by locals is called “kir”, which is a mixture of white wine with blackcurrant syrup.
Accommodations at the river Loire are as charming as her environment.
Dominated by family-run accommodation, with rustic bedrooms and dining room where excellent cuisine is also popular among the locals. Do not expect it to be luxury, because they are only basic accommodations, but they offer a real experience of life along the Loire.
If you want luxury, then you have a great opportunity to stay in a private castle, where hospitality is a serious business. Some of the castles and manors, ranked from the Renaissance to the fortress tower buildings are converted into luxury hotels, which stand in the middle of a beautiful sheltered gardens.
Families, who live in the castle for several generations, will welcome you and treat you as family friends. All at a reasonable price. Near the town of Saumur, you can spend the night in hollowed caves, which are converted into modern dwellings. In the neighboring caves of soft tufa, there is the right climate for growing mushrooms.