The Loire Valley is located in Central France. It is about two-thirds the size of Bordeaux and is highly densely planted. With a range of terroirs and and Atlantic ocean influence on its climate, it is well known for the red wines Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay and Pinot Noir. Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne) are the primary white varities planted in the region.
Traditionally winemaking practices in the Loire have not used malolactic fermentation and barrel aging, however there is increasing experimentation with both practices. With the numbers of négociant and co-operative wineries in the area, the Loire Valley is historally known for its smaller, family run estate operations.