In undulating countryside between Tours and Le Mans, explore a pocket-sized wine region that includes the Coteaux du Loir, Jasnières and Coteaux du Vendômois appellations, in the north of the Loire Valley, each connected by Loir river. Enjoy unique experiences with the winemakers, taste a palette of delicate wines and special cuvées in troglodyte cellars and fall for the charm of a magnificent local heritage set within an unspoilt natural landscape.
At Charles Jumert, winemakers for seven generations in Villiers-sur-Loir, you will be taken on a highly original visit of Domaine de la Berthelotière by cart, followed by a tour of the cellar carved into the tufa rock. Afterwards enjoy a tasting of Coteaux du Vendômois AOC rosé – known as ‘le gris’ – served with a selection of local produce.
At Domaine Patrice Colin in Thoré-la-Rochette, you’ll be greeted by a couple of passionate winemakers. Committed to working the soil, Patrice Colin runs his estate in the Coteaux du Vendômois appellation using organic farming principles and is a true ambassador for its terroir. Visitors can explore the troglodyte cellars and sample the estate’s wines. The fruity and well balanced red wines produced from the iconic local grape variety Pineau d’Aunis are very popular thanks to their characteristic spice notes.
A visit to the troglodyte cellars at Domaine Lelais in Ruillé-sur-Loir are well worth a detour! Several kilometres long and carved out of the rock several centuries ago, this labyrinth of galleries, which also contains a museum dedicated to Bacchus, can be visited on a tour guided by winemaker Claire Lelais. Stay inside the troglodyte cellars for a taste of the famous white wines of Jasnières AOC and Coteaux du Loir AOC, the latter also available as a red and rosé wine.
Over at Domaine de Cézin in Marçon, the Fresneau family has been producing wines from these two appellations in the south of the Sarthe region for four generations. The owners are truly passionate about their work and run a wine tasting workshop. How should you hold the glass? What to look for? How can you identify a wine’s aromas? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more. Domaine de Cézin also offers a visit to its troglodyte cellar as well as a tasting of its wines, all produced according to sustainable methods.
As you leave La Chartre-sur-le-Loir, why not take the Loire Valley Wine Route, either by bike or car, and explore some of the region’s finest producers.
Continue your trip to the Loir Valley with a visit to Vendôme, recognised as a City of Art and History. The city contains both a rich historical and natural heritage, plus countless delightful gardens. To enjoy a picnic among the vines on the hills above Vendôme head to "pente des Coutis". Whether as a family or with friends, this amazing view of the abbey and its castle is the perfect spot for a relaxing break.