It's not unusual for you to go round a corner or bend in the road in Anjou and stumble upon straight rows of twisted vine stocks dropping down to a river... Just visit Savennières, Rochefort-sur-Loire or Rablay-sur-Layon and see for yourself! We highly recommend visiting the Anjou wine routes because there are so many things to do to suit every age.
Whether you want a family campervan ride through the vines, a romantic cellar tour or a good meal with local wine and friends, you're bound to find the place for you in the Anjou vineyard.
Wine tourism on foot, by bike or boat
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to transport on the wine routes. Whether you want to walk, ride or sail, the possibilities for exploring Anjou wine are endless. Here's a little taster!
On the wine routes
If you're a fan of bright and bubbly campervans then Ernest le Combi's orange number is right up your street. Book the original Angers, Wine and Escapes tour to explore the vineyard, landscapes, wineries and wine with a guided tasting joined by a winemaker.
If you'd rather drive yourself in a campervan or other vehicle, there are three wine routes for you to explore from Angers. The routes range from 57-121km and introduce you to the prettiest spots in the Anjou-Saumur vineyard with vines, Loire landscapes, riversides and beautiful villages.
Wine tourism by bike
If you're a keen cyclist then hit the Loire à Vélo bike path ! Don't forget to stop at La Pointe de Bouchemaine or the idyllic île de Béhuard with its lovely little village home to 120 people. The hillsides opposite the island are home to famous AOC Savennières vines: no trip here is complete without tasting this famously smooth white wine.
If you already know the riverside path like the back of your hand, just take another route to explore other Anjou vines. Hit the 60km route through the hillside vineyards of Layon and Aubance between Les Ponts-de-Cé, Thouarcé and Chalonnes-sur-Loire then take the greenway to soak up the vines, mills, wineries and manors.
Wine tourism hikes
The classic hike or guided walk is the perfect way to get up close and personal with vines at your leisure. Nothing beats a guided tour by Les Vignes selon Val in the Layon Valley. The signposted path on the Savennières hillside vineyards introduces you to the local wineries. There's an educational trail on Place du Mail in the village centre too. If you come in September, make sure you take part in the Vignes Vin Rando events: an amazing experience blending walking, heritage, wine tasting and local produce. Plus the winemakers show you around their wineries!
Anjou wine boat trips
If you want to see another side to wine, there's nothing quite like a traditional boat trip on the Loire to sample local varieties, the winemaker may even tag along. You can set sail from Loire-Authion on a Loire Odyssée boat or La Possonnière with Terre et Loire.
Quirky wine experiences
If you're looking for something a bit different then here are some ideas that children and adults will love. Gadget lovers should go for a Gyroway vineyard tour zipping through Domaine FL on a segway in Rochefort-sur-Loire. Au Cœur des Sensations provides all-terrain electric scooters and e-bikes to take visitors from the vineyards to the tasting cellars. If you have a head for heights, take to the skies in one of the Montgolfière d’Anjou hot-air balloons for a bird's eye view of the vineyard from Brissac or Domaine de Gagnebert.
Wine tourism roots : villages and wineries
Whilst visiting Angers, the Maison des Vins is a great start point for your introduction to the vineyard and its wine! Learning about the different designations will give you food for thought and inspire you to venture further...
Wine tourism meets heritage
The Anjou vineyard is packed with lovely little villages and Petites Cités de Caractères® to explore between tastings. Savennières and its iconic île Béhuard, Rochefort-sur-Loire, Rablay-sur-Layon, Bonnezeaux, Brissac-Quincé, Blaison-Saint-Sulpice, Saint-Melaine-sur-Aubance and many more Anjou vineyard towns and villages, with local wine named after them, are home to beautiful buildings, stone priories, manors, châteaux and wonderful wineries. Quench your thirst for history and wine tasting in the local village cellars and wineries.
More and more vine growers and winery owners are opening their doors to introduce visitors to the vines, cellars and production. One of them is Domaine du Closel in Savennières: take your pick from the solo Fugue tour or guided tours to explore Château des Vaults, the local area, UNESCO World Heritage landscape and, most importantly, the wine! June plays host to "Picnic with an independent winemaker": just bring your picnic along and the winery provides the wine and events.
Anjou harvest experiences
Château de la Viaudière in Bellevigne-en-Layon, Château de Piéguë in Rochefort-sur-Loire and Château de Bellevue in Val-du-Layon are just some of the wineries that give you the chance to live a day in the life of a grape picker in September! Learn about the harvests, winemaking, oenology, have a picnic or rustic buffet or attempt the winemaker challenge at the Vine and Wine Museum in Val-sur-Layon: there are lots of fun things to do!
Celebrating wine tourism and great food
Nothing beats a tasty snack made with local produce or a delicious meal concocted by a top chef to wash down with your Anjou wine. Follow the guide for first class events and eateries !
Good food and great wine menus
The best eateries in Angers and the vineyard celebrate Anjou wine. Filter your search with the Vignobles et Découvertes label to find a selection of places with both first class food and a great wine menu i.e. Autour d’un Cep in Angers or Le Chenin in Savennières. The Michelin-starred La Table de la Bergerie lies in its namesake's winery: a must for serious foodies.
Bistronomy wine cellars
Anjou is packed with wine bars serving great food! After a lovely day visiting the vineyard, settle down in Angers to sample local wine, eat, watch live music and go home with a bottle from one of the city's many wine bars.
Picnic in the vineyard
When you're out and about, a picnic in the sunshine is often the easiest option... Stock up on local wine and food at the cooperative Saveurs grocery in Savennières before laying out your picnic on the barrels in the presbytery grounds or on the Loire riverbanks in Béhuard. They claim to have the best-stocked AOC Savennières wine cellar. L’Ardoise deli in Brissac-Quincé is another great place to pick up lunch. Some wineries allow visitors to have a picnic in the shade in their grounds: just ask !
Top tip : Explore the new gravel bike/bikepacking route! This route for keen gravel and trek bikers winds between the Loire and Savennières, Aubance and Layon vineyard. 108km to cover in stages over 2-3 days. Click here for bike-friendly Accueil vélo® accommodation.
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