The Loire Valley encompasses a wide variety of different wine areas with their own styles, traditions and grape varieties. In the far west, on the coast, is Muscadet, where a dry wine made from Melon de Bourgogne with a salty tang and a great affinity with seafood is produced. At the eastern extreme lie Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where Sauvignon Blanc is used to produce a grassy, crisp white. In between are Touraine and Anjou, whose reds from the Cabernet Franc grape variety are excellent, sometimes ageworthy and gaining in popularity. But the real star of these central areas is Chenin Blanc, which yields wines ranging from very dry to luxuriously sweet - the latter epitomised by the very best wines of Vouvray, which are beautifully balanced and capable of long ageing. Despite the wide range of styles, all the wines of the Loire tend to be fresh with good acidity, light, and excellent value.

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