Decanter travel guide: Loire Valley, France

Fancy a Sleeping Beauty château with your crottin? Fiona Sims picks some of the food and wine highlights of the Central and Upper Loire.

Loire Valley travel guide: Six of the best wineries to visit

☆ Domaine Henri Bourgeois, Sancerre
Affable patriarch Jean-Marie Bourgeois has a stake in New Zealand but the real action is in his Loire wines, including Le MD de Bourgeois, from the vertiginous slopes of Les Monts Damnés. henribourgeois.com

Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf, Touraine
Brothers Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat tend their 10ha biodynamic Cheverny estate and rent further hectares in AC Touraine, for stellar pétillant naturel and superior blends of the Cot grape. puzelat.com

Domaine de la Noblaie, Chinon
Jérôme Billard makes sparkling Touraine, and white and cherry-packed red Chinon, which you can enjoy on picnic tables (bring your own food) beside his vines. lanoblaie.fr

Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau, Vouvray
One of Vouvray’s biodynamicists. A Cave Touristique, thanks to its atmospheric cellar, it makes affordable sparkling Vouvray and classy, dry Chenins. vigneau-chevreau.com

Domaine de la Paleine, Saumur
The chic little tasting room, in a riverside village near Saumur, is open daily from 9am to 6pm and offers the full range, from Saumur Rouge to top white, Casta Diva. There’s also a smart apartment to rent above. paleine-montsoreau.fr

Domaine de la Butte, Bourgueil
Jacky Blot’s Cabernet Franc is one of the best-rated reds of the Loire. Blot also does a fine Montlouis under his Domaine de la Taille aux Loups label. jackyblot.fr

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