The wines of the Loire Valley comprise 4 main areas
- Muscadet from the west near to Nantes
- Anjou, Coteaux du Layon - Saumur (our area)
- Touraine - Bourgueil - Vouvray
- Pouilly Fume - Sancerre from the far Eastern end
La Charpenterie is set in an ancient vineyard so you are able to watch the day to day process of viticulture culminating in the Vendange between 3rd week in September and mid-October when the grapes are cut by hand for Crement. The vendange is also a great time to buy wines as producers sell off surplus bottles to make space for this year's production.
The map above shows how we are perfectly located for the wines from Saumur and Touraine, but the other areas can be reached within a day's drive. Something that is special to the Saumur area are the superb Champaign method producers. We are able to point you toward producers of most wine types, but here are the four that were preferred by our previous guests.
Visiting the Robert et Marcel formerly Cave de Saumur in nearby St Cyr en Bourg is the best way to get an immediate understanding of what is on offer from the area nearby. The staff speak good English and so can help with any query that you may have. Wines range from a superb dry white, ideal with fish to a fizzy red wine. There is a tour of the extensive cellars.
The best red wine of the area is undoubtedly Bourgueil, and the wine originally produced by the monks of Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, really is the very best. It is produced in very small vineyards, each of about 12 - 13Ha. The producer we buy from may invite you to taste his wine straight from the barrels (usually about 6). You will be surprised at the variation, not only between differing years, but between individual barrels.
Saumur Champigny is another fantastic red, one producer Domain de Filiatreau also produces 8 - 12 other wines so a tasting at this vineyard in nearby Chaintre is a must if you are looking for quality. The wines are not cheap - they have a fantastic desert wine at €18 but as something special - for Christmas, perhaps, it really is a memorable drink.
Whilst most small producers will generally have some sparkling wines, Gratien & Meyer, along with Ackerman and Veuve Amiot produce very high quality Champaign method wine (as good as the real thing, but not as expensive). They all have organised visits however at Gratien & Meyer you also get superb views overlooking the Loire. Jazz evenings are occasionally organised during summer and take place on their extensive terrace.