Winemaking in the Loire Valley dates back to Roman times; today the region is especially renowned for its fresh, crisp white wines with distinctive mineral notes, such as the Sauvignon Blanc produced around the hilltop town of Sancerre and nearby Pouilly-Fume.  Further east the Vouvray region produces Chenin Blanc known for its great ageing potential.  Melon de Bourgogne is cultivated in the Muscadet region around Nantes, producing some of the best wine for accompanying oysters.  The region also produces lighter red wines from varieties such as Pinot Noir.

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