The Oxford Blue
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Loire Valley

Margriet Vandezande-Crump

Due to the unfortunate and unavoidable delays of the build at the Oxford Blue, Daniel and I took the opportunity to explore the Loire Valley wine region in France which is known for it’s huge variety of goats cheese, game (especially duck), rillettes, tarte tatin and many more delights (and the reason you can find me in the gym everyday).

The Loire Valley is a region rich with history, spectacular scenery, fine dining, home to the grandest Châteaux in France, old villages and historic towns.

The food was wonderful but we went to try the extraordinary wines of the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé regions, which arguably produce the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world.

Our first wine trip was into the picturesque village of Sancerre which sits atop a rocky hillside overlooking the Loire River. To get there we walked through the vines of the many growers in Sancerre.

We were welcomed in the shop of Alphonse Mellot, where we tasted some of the different wines he cultivates. Although every white wine is made of the same grape variety `Sauvignon Blanc`, every wine had a different flavour due to the different soil types, aspect, and climate per vineyard.

The next day we went to Pouilly-Fume where we met Melanie from Masson-Blondelet who explained to us about how the family winery worked day-to-day and about the different wines they had for us to choose from.

Both regions use the Sauvignon grape variety but are very different in style, taste and depth. Pouilly-Fume is often said to have a distinctive earthy, gunpowder character.

We have already decided to add Masson-Blondelet’s “Villa Paulus” to the wine list at The Oxford Blue because of it’s intense and fresh, crisp acidity with notes of grapefruit, lemon grass and fresh green herbs. Villa Paulus is perfect as an aperitif but also pairs beautifully with seafood and goats cheese.

I can’t wait for you to try it, and hope to see you soon.