La Roche-sur-Yon is the capital of the Vendée, chosen by Napoleon I in 1804....
Anjou: an abundance of flavours
This is the largest winegrowing area in the Val de Loire, with 50,000 acres and a perfectly temperate climate. The experience is not just easy of the palate, but also easy on the eye. Here, the pretty patchwork of vineyards produces a wide-ranging variety of white, red, rosé, sparkling, dry and semi-dry wines. There are more than 28 appellations, including such exceptional wines such as Layon, Savennières produced along the banks of the Loire River and the red Anjou found south of the river.
Pure, fruity Savennières
Heading back towards Angers and located on the right bank of the Loire, Savennières produces two appellations that are highly regarded among connoisseurs: Coulée de Serrant and Roche aux Moines, complex white wines with a pronounced fruity taste. One of the oldest and famous vineyards is at the Château d’Epire where there are more than 22 acres of vines.
Fine sparkling Saumur
Naturally sparkling, the wines made from grapes grown on tuffeau-rich soil enjoy growing conditions comparable to those in the Champagne region. With over 15 million bottles shipped around the globe each year, the Saumur region is one of France’s major production centres for fine sparkling wine. This frothy bubbly rivals many champagnes and can be found for a fraction of the price.
Mellow Layon and Aubance
The French poet Joachim du Bellay described the wine from this area as “the divine nectar that makes Anjou famous”. The sweet Côteaux du Layon and the velvety Bonnezeaux are a delight to savour. Not to mention the smooth Quarts de Chaume which is a “vin de garde” (wine for ageing) par excellence. The Côteaux de l’Aubance promises equally mellow wines with aromas of flowers, dried apricot and vanilla.