Explore Chinon, a historic town surrounded by vineyards. Renowned for its eponymous wines, mostly from the Cabernet Franc grape variety and produced by almost 200 winemakers, Chinon is also the largest of the Loire Valley's red wine appellations. Its wines are delicate, elegant, and sometimes as intense as the fortress that overlooks the Vienne river and the town’s beautiful historic centre.
The Royal Fortress of Chinon has a rich past and is a must for any visitor. It was in Chinon that Joan of Arc met King Charles VII to persuade him to recapture Orléans, at the time under English occupation. Thanks to HistoPad, and virtual reality reconstructions of certain parts of the fortress, visitors are able to immerse themselves in medieval life. Looking to play? Have a go at the escape game and try to find Joan of Arc’s forgotten treasure.
Chinon is also the birthplace of François Rabelais and other important writers, each a passionate wine lover.
Take your taste buds for a spin with a visit to Domaine Charles Joguet. To discover the different types and styles of wines it produces each year take part in the discovery workshops. You’ll learn about the diversity of its wines and terroirs as well as how they cultivate the vines and make the wine. You can also enjoy wine-tasting lunches, harvesting workshops, and more.
A few kilometres from Chinon, Vignobles du Paradis offers several fun and educational ways to learn about wine and winemaking, set within the property's modern wine cellar. These include, among others, a self-service wine tasting using the Enomatic wine-by-the-glass system and an iPad, a guided tasting of 8 wines, exploring the vines and cellar (by appointment only), and tasting workshops.
Not far from Chinon, in the Indre Valley, discover the Renaissance jewel of Château d’Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the reign of François I, the château is surrounded by idyllic landscaped gardens and boasts sumptuous historic décor spanning its 400 years of history. The lavish collection of artefacts, furnishings, paintings and tapestries will bring the era to life before your very eyes.
Close by, the Azay-le-Rideau wine region sits at the confluence of the Indre and Loire rivers. It produces delicate and elegant rosé, dry-white and medium-dry white wines. To sample these delights, visit Château de l’Aulée in the heart of the Touraine- Azay le Rideau appellation. Stroll through the vineyard and discover how the vines are worked throughout the year as you follow a signposted trail with the aid of an MP3 audio guide.
Become an expert in Loire Valley sparkling wines as you learn how Crémant de Loire, one of the estate’s specialities, is made.
Further north, on the hills overlooking the Indre river, discover the wines produced by the passionate and dedicated team at Domaine Nicolas Paget. The estate has been creating its own cuvées from 3 appellations since 2001: Chinon AOC and Touraine AOC for their reds, and Touraine Azay-le-Rideau AOC for their white and rosé. All of their wines are produced in harmony with nature and the vines are tended in line with organic methods. Why not take part in some the estate’s different activities and experiences? Choose from a winemaker’s picnic, exploring on a Segway or electric scooter, sampling a selection of local produce such as “fouace” bread, Touraine goat’s cheese, Rivarennes dried pears, and more.
Tourisme Office of Azay-Chinon Val de Loire
1, rue Rabelais
Tel.: +33 (0)2 47 93 17 85