The Loire Valley is a wine region in Northern France which rises in central France to its mouth on the Atlantic coast. The upper part of the valley begins with the regions dominated with Sauvignon Blanc such as Pouilly Fume, Sancerre, Quincy and Reuilly with many of these regions growing other varieties too, such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gamay.
Heading down river and towards the west one enters the regions of Touraine where some of the best reds are to be found: Chinon & Bourgueil which are (in their red versions at least) exclusively Cabernet Franc. Here, Chenin Blanc is also grown reaching its apogee with Vouvray: a wine which comes in all levels of sweetness from taut dryness to unctuously sweet with many points in between.
Further west, entering the subzone of Anjou-Saumur there are also some fabulous sweet wines from Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume alongside reds from both Cabernets, a splattering of Malbec (or Cot as it is know to some), and Gamay too. Here you will also find the powerful, mineral whites of Savennieres: whites which are some of the most ageworthy in the entire region, but almost unknown to the wider wine-drinking world.
Last but not least is the Pays Nantais which is largely dominated by the AOC of Muscadet, where the last of the major varieties of the Loire Valley, Melon de Bourgogne is found. Muscadet suffers from a less-than-illustrious reputation, but there has been a quality revolution in the last few decades and there are some very serious examples to be found.