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Loire Valley trip — recommendations please!

Hi all! We’re planning a short trip to the Loire over the Easter weekend with a few friends — the current thinking is to focus on Anjou-Saumur and possibly the Lower Loire (some people on the trip have already done Touraine & the Centre Loire).

If anyone has any tips or recommendations for wineries, restaurants, must-see chateaux etc. I’d be very grateful!

As a big Savennières fan I’m pushing at least one winery there (maybe Joly’s Coulée de Serrant?), & Coteaux du Layon has come up in conversation as well — if anyone has anything specific in those areas that’d be great!

Thanks in advance! :clinking_glasses:

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we are thinking of the same…dependant upon a “meaningful vote”

would recommend - https://www.thewinesociety.com/grower-profile-yves-guegniard-loire
Not been for several years but wines are very good and the new restaurant is meant to be very good !

http://www.domaine-aux-moines.com/index.php - one of my best visits ever - tasted approx 10 vintages from mother to daughter

Coulee is good - was lucky enough to visit whilst Nicola was there

Enjoy !

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My picks would be:

Saumur Champigny

Anjou area


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I just got back from a work trip to the Loire and I can certainly recommend Domain du Closel in Savennières. I’m not sure if they do visits but the wines are great (the people are lovely too).


Also there is a fantastic restaurant in the town called Le Chenin. It’s just around the corner from Closel and it’s one of the best I have visited in the Loire.

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Another cracking restaurant is http://www.authoureil.fr/en/

Located in Le Thoureil, between Angers and Saumur. It has a great view of the river Loire.


I second: Filliatreau Saumur Champigny. Wines are excellent - the standard bottles available in Waitrose but the best are made in tiny volumes & never reach our shores… Try their coteux de Saumur (similar but rarer than Coteaux de Layon)


The Saumur tank museum is on a par with Bovingdon (if that is your thing)



I went on a trip a few years back, we visited Coulée de Serrant but it wasn’t much of an experience per se. Just one French lady a few bottles that were lying about. We had a much better experience when we visited Domaine des Forges and I would recommend that.

I would also recommend Angers as a place to stay. That’s where we were based and we enjoyed it.

Have fun!

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There is a whole thread full of great recommendations here:

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A visit to Gratien & Meyer in Saumur is a must. They are of course the same company as Alfred Gratien who produce the Society’s champagne and their cremant de loire is one of the best imho. I think you can still just drop in, but you can also pre-book a visit on the website ( https://www.gratienmeyer.com/en/ )Should you venture as far east as Sancerre the restaurant La Tour in the centre of this lovely town is excellent. Their wine list has about 300 LOCAL wines and the advice of the sommelier is needed to guide you through the list. When we were there he suggested a glass of wine with each course to match what we were eating. Three of us were served 3 different wines each, a total of 9 different wines even down to two different vintages of the same wine. The food/wine matches were superb. In the same town the Hotel Panoramic does what it says on the tin! The views from the rooms of the surrounding vineyards are indeed panoramic!


We stayed at La Roseraie Hotel in Chenonceaux a couple of years ago. It’s quaint and old fashioned. Food was good. Right next to Château de Chenonceau which is worth a visit.


It’s gorgeous there, my then 4 year old was blown away by the chateaux and demanded her own audio guide :rofl::rofl:

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We visit Angers every year (believe it or not Wigan is twinned with Angers, which must have come as a shock to some visiting their twin town for the first time!). We often stay in the centre as it has a nice “university town” buzz even in winter, with plenty of places to stay and eat. More recently we’ve used the motorhome and stayed around the Lion d’Angers area to get a horsey fix too! We have been visiting Domaine des Closserons in Faye d’Anjou for about 30 years now, although in those days you could only bring 8 bottles of wine back. The Leblanc family are lovely and make you very welcome when you go to taste and buy. Their Coteaux de Layon has been garnering awards for years (and is delicious). The younger generation have now taken over and are picking up awards for their other wines too.
For Anjou-Villages we visit Domaine de Haute-Perche which is on the way to Faye d’Anjou from Angers. Again father and son are welcoming and we enjoy the wine.

A visit to Nantes would allow you to sample some of the more interesting Muscadets that don’t seem to find their way over here and also to visit “Machines de L’ile” which we enjoyed.

You’ve reminded me how much I like the area *goes away to book another trip.


Folks, thank you so much for all the responses! I’ve had precious little time this week to read/respond (too much work, not enough wine), but reading though all the response tonight has me even more excited for this trip!

I shall be feeding all your brilliant recommendations to the group!

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MV1, MV2, MV2.5, MV2.5.1?!? :man_shrugging: — I shared that concern — ultimately decided life is too short to let our erm, dithering?, get in the way of the finer things in life!

These wines are always good fun to try — in my (very, very) limited experience, a lot of the wines that are kept locally tend to be the more interesting wines!

Duly noted, thanks for the heads up!

The experience you describe here makes me want to twist some arms to agree to a stopover on the way… :+1: (& noted re Gratien — I must have had their Society’s Saumur Brut recently — I recall enjoying it!)

Noted! There’s a short but growing list of Chateaux among the group, always better to go to ones with recommendations!

This is good info! My parents are both scousers (they moved over the river to start a family, so I get told off if I claim to be one) but I feel like I know what you mean…

Both sound awesome, they must be doing something right to keep you coming back!

Having spent a disproportionate amount of time “studying” (aka drinking…) the Pays Nanatais for FWS, I am loving the more interesting Muscadets!

Thanks again all — very much appreciated!!!


Just back from the Loire… staying in both Angers and Chinon

Visited https://www.thewinesociety.com/grower-profile-yves-guegniard-loire great tasting with Anne - topped up on lots inc. the “La Cerisaie” at 7,90 / btl is great vfm. Their entire range of Anjou, Savennieres and Coteau de Layon are all very good

Tasting was followed up by a lovely lunch in “their” restaurant ‘La table de la bergerie’

Next was Saumur - Bouvet Ladubay (best name in wine?) and Louis de Grenelle to pick up some Loire sparkles. Discussing with someone whilst tasting we tried to work out the difference between these and Champagne…we decided marketing budget ! When you can pick up these wines from 6euros to 30 euros a bottle you have to question is Champagne worth the difference ?!

Then to Chinon and the environs - Frederic Mabileau in Bourgeuil and Ch de Coulaine in Chinon. Ive visited both of these several times over the past 10+ years and they never fail to deliver. An aged Ch de Coulaine ‘Le Picasse’ is a hard wine to beat!

The loire just has so much to offer - something for all palettes

Edit…I now have to transfer 108 bottles to the cellar :slight_smile:


So, after a bit of back & forth among the group to decide on where to go, we ended up visiting 4 estates that were all superb!

Château des Fesles was first — I’ve had their Bonnezeaux before but not tried their dry Chenins. We were given tastes of about 10 wines in total and then a little tour of the winery. The dry Chenins were really good, especially for the price. Bought 2x 2007 and 2x 2012 dry Chenins (La Chapelle VV, AOC Anjou), plus a 2000 Bonnezaux and an absolute stunner — the 2014 Bonnezeaux Vin Rare.

Lunch in Angers followed by a trip to Nicolas Joly — what a stunning site! The long drive up to the house through the vineyard hills was beautiful, as was the house itself. 6 wines to taste through, bought a 2013 Clos de la Bergerie (AOC Savennières-Roche aux Moines, James’s choice) and a 2007 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant.

Then a short drive to Château d’Epiré – a recommendation from a friend who grew up in Angers. The winery is in the old village church, converted by adding in a floor so the wine can be pressed in the upper level and gravity fed into the lower level for vinification. Another lovely tasting, really good value stuff. We all chipped in for a few bottle of the Savennières Cuvée Spéciale (which everyone agreed was a really impressive wine — complex and intense, beautiful flavours) — so I got a bottle for myself and their Moelleux too.

We tried to go to Damien Laureau but they were closed, so I decide to try Domaine aux Moines instead — I don’t know why I hadn’t persuaded the gang to have it on the list in the first place, but as @JamesF experienced this was one of the best tastings I’ve ever had! The winemaker was wonderful, her mother was full of life, great wines (including a delightfully fresh & simple wine from her recently planted young vines — kept out of the main bottling until they are older). James (not usually a fan of sweeter wines) loved the Doux - Cuvée de l"Abbesse so we brought a bottle home, probably for consumption at Christmas. Another beautiful property too!

We had dinner at the Fontevraud Abbey — lovely food, amazing venue — the buildings were all open to explore, with some incredible art installations to discover — if you’re in the area I highly recommend it!


sounds like a fab time…glad Domaines aux Moines lived unto the recommendation