The "royal river" (Breton Liger) covers a distance of 1,000 kilometres from the Massif Central in southern central France to the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. It gave the name to this huge wine-growing region with its 70,000 hectares of vineyards. Like all waters, it exerts a positive effect on viticulture or creates the conditions for it by forming valley slopes. The Loire has its source south of Lyon, flows first in an arc to the north and then turns west near Orléans. It crosses twelve départements and takes in a total of ten tributaries. There is significant viticulture on both banks of the Loire over a distance of around 400 kilometres, with the vineyards being divided up into many areas.