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RECENTLY UPDATED! Wine guides for the ultra curious, Approach Guides takes an in depth look at a wine region's grapes, appellations, and vintages to help you discover wines that meet your preferences. (2015)

Publisher note: The purpose of this guide is to profile the unique aspects of the Loire Valley's appellations and grape varieties; this guide does not profile specific producers or rate individual wines.

The Loire River Valley, with its cooler temperatures and mineral-heavy soils, offers some of France’s most impressive wines. The best part is that this region is still largely overlooked by the wine drinking public; as a result, Loire Valley wines are tremendous values.

This Approach Guide begins by offering a straightforward vintage ratings table, which affords high-level insight into the best and most challenging years for wine production in the Loire.

It continues with a brief review of the Loire’s primary red and white grape varieties and where they reach their highest expressions.

Finally, it concludes with detailed appellation profiles, across all five sub-regions (running from west to east): Pays Nantais, Anjou, Saumur, Touraine, and Central Vineyards. For each, this guide offers insight into its specific terroir, pointing out the best wines and what makes them distinctive.

This guidebook’s approach is unique: Rather than tell you what specific bottle of wine to order by providing individual bottle reviews, this Approach Guide gives you the information you require to make informed wine choices on any list.  To help you in your selection process, we have marked our favorite regions, grape varieties, and denominations with an asterisk (*) -- look for this indication as a sign of quality, consistency, and good value.

We hope that this guide serves as a great resource for your wine adventures in France and sets you on a path to making your own discoveries.

One of the benefits of Approach Guides is that we can easily update content and release new editions of our guidebooks. These updates are FREE for existing customers. Please visit for a list of recently updated guides and instructions on downloading the new version.

Compulsive (and compulsively informed) travelers, the Raezers are the masterminds behind the downloadable Approach Guides, which are filled with a university course-worth of history and insights for 62 destinations worldwide. WHY WE LOVE IT: The Raezers share our desire for deep, well-researched information on the wonders of the world.

- Travel + Leisure

What started as one couple’s travel notes aimed at filling in the gaps in guidebooks has become — a menu of downloadable travel guides that cover cultural and historical topics of interest to thoughtful travelers.  What’s hot: Bite-sized travel guides that specialize in topics ranging from 29 pages on the foods of Italy to one that helps you explore the historical and architectural significance of Angkor’s famous temple structures in Cambodia.

- LA Times


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