Day Tours
Multi Day

Saumur (Loire)

Cremant is an AOC premium sparkling wine made in 8 regions of France using the same double fermentations process as Champagne. Cremant is a demanding Appellation, with hand-harvested grapes, limited grape pressing, and a longer ageing process in cellars. Close to 17 million bottles of Cremant de Loire are sold each year and it is no surprise that the largest 2 producers are owned by Taittinger and Bollinger.

Discover the town of Saumur is called “la perle d’Anjou” (the pearl of Anjou) as it is built of the area’s soft tufa, a limestone, which becomes paler with age. We'll discover the popular French sparkling Cremants and the renaissance Chateau de Villandry with its remarkable reconstruction of the 16th century gardens divided in three terraces. Plus, with time we can visit the impressive medieval fortress of Langeais and Chateau Azay Le Rideau, an archetypal early Renaissance Chateau with a magnificent staircase are also worth a visit. The area is full of magical Chateaux and we can include visits on a single or multi day tour.

Sample Itineraries

Sparkling & Red Wine Tour

Visit 1
Cellar visit one of the top Cremant de Saumur producers of 90+ point wines
Visit 2
Tasting of Saumur AOC overlooking the river
Lunch in a medieval restaurant
Visit 3
Tasting visit in St Nicolas de Bourgueil AOC
Visit 4
Vineyard visit and multi-tasting in Bourgueil AOC

Bouvet-Ladubay (Taittinger)

Founded in 1851, Etienne Bouvet founded Bouvet-Ladubay in 1851. His success let him In 1878 to build a chateau was constructed. Nearby, Etienne Bouvet a built housing for his employees on his land, a port,large stables covered by a glass roof, an electricity power station to light the 8 kilometres of cellars, a dispatch hall and a a small theatre for his employees to offer them access and exposure to the arts. Their wine cellars are located right under the St Florent Abbey ruins, where in the Middle Age, one of the most powerful Benedictine abbeys of the Anjou region was founded. The winery has developed more than 20 different blends including the Brut de Loire wines of Bouvet-Ladubay are made from 3 varieties, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. The brand was acquired in 1932 by the Monmousseau family and later Champagne Taittinger became a partner.

Langlois (Bollinger)

Created in 1885 by Baron de Bodman, who sold his cellars, land and buildings to Edouard Langlois in 1892. The grapes produced by Langlois come solely from 6 terroirs covering 95 hectares of “cru” vineyards in Saumur, Saumur-Champigny, Cabernet de Saumur Rosé, and Sancerre. The grapes from each geographic location are kept separate and processed separately, before being blended in order to embody the style of this winery, freshness and elegance. In 1973 the Jacques Bollinger Family Group acquires a majority stake.

Maison Marc Bredif

Maison Brédif produces red and rosé wines and Chinon Blanc. No oak is used in the winemaking to respect the freshness of the grapes and the terroir. Marc Bredif is part of the famous producer La Doucette.


Whilst Chenin is the white grape variety used for Crémant de Loire, Cabernet Franc is the red grape variety plus chardonnay, pinot noir and local varieties. Chenin Blanc known in the Loire Valley as "Pineau de la Loire", the noble grape variety " and the most widespread varietal planted in the Loire Valley.

Cabernet Franc grapes is the most widely planted red grape variety in the Loire dating back to the 11th century. Praised by Rabelais, the great epicurean writer who was born near Chinon, and Cardinal Richelieu selected it for exclusive planting at St Nicolas de Bourgueil. These wines are similar to those of Beaujolais wine but with raspberry notes, and fresh sweet peppery nose. Served chilled, a young Cabernet Franc is an ideal red for a summer barbecue. Older wines are delicious with roasted meats.

In Touraine, the red wines are made entirely from Gamay. It can be made in a light, fruity style or deep and rich for longer ageing. Gamay it is typically blended with Cabernet Franc and Cot a local clone of the Malbec. It is a purple-colored grape variety and also used to make rosé wines in Saumur. Gamay wines are similar to those of Beaujolais crus but with raspberry notes and the signature fresh-peppery nose of the Cabernet Franc, unlike Cabernet Franc from warmer climates.


The Chinon AOP area features a mixture of soils and tuffeau, which is great for both Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc (aka Breton), giving both varieties wonderful ageing ability. The wines of the Chinon area are the softest and rich expression of the grape and often compared to Bordeaux, while the Bourgueil area produces more tannic and structured wines. Reds and rosés are light- to medium-bodied and although paler in color, they have deep, dark, spicy fruit character. Chinon reds are typically served slightly cooler than most red wine. 

Bourgueil AOP are instantly recognizable Cabernet Franc wines known for their aromas of graphite, strawberry, and raspberry. The Cabernet Franc is grown in a mix of sandy gravel (more fruit/floral) and limestone (more spice), making for medium-bodied reds and structured rosé wines. 

St. Nicholas de Bourgueil yields lighter colored Cabernet Franc reds and roses with lighter aromatics that are easy going and reveal lots of red fruit when young. They are sometime compared to wine from Bordeaux.


The Loire origins go back to the end of the 3rd century when the Roman Emperor Probus planted the first vines in the region of Saumur, although it is only around the 5th century that the cultivation of vines really started in the Loire Valley. During the course of the following centuries, the Augustine and Benedictine monks had a dominating influence on the development of the various vineyards until the 18th century.

The town of Saumur is called “la perle d’Anjou” (the pearl of Anjou) as it is built of the area’s soft tufa, a limestone, which becomes paler with age and lends itself to intricate carving. The Château there was built in the 12th century during the reign of the Plantagenets and was converted into a fortress in the 13th century. Saumur has a rich past as a one-time Protestant stronghold and international centre of learning. It is this chateau newly built that is portrayed in the famous “Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry” (now at the Chateau de Chantilly).

Above the vineyards in Chinon stands the ruins of Chateau of Chinon. The Plantagenet Henry II, King of England, died here.  His son, Richard the Lionheart owned it and his other son, King John lost it to the French.  It was here that Joan of Arc came to plead with Charles VII for an army.

Saumur Wine Adventures

We'll start our adventure discovering parking Cremant de Loire wines in Saumur. Lunch will be an opportunity to sample the local Cabernet Franc based wines that range from light and fruity in Saumur to rich and velvety in Chinon.  From here we head north east towards Tours to discover the sparkling and still Chenin Blanc wines of Vouvray and possibly Montlouis-sur-Loire. It might be fun one morning to visit the indoor food market in Tours or take a short cooking class.

Multi Region Journeys

  • Best of the Best

    Saumur / Vouvray (2 days)

    Vineyard visits at top Vouvray grower producers with wines rated 88 to 99pts
    Taste sparkling white wine in Vouvray and Montlouis-sur-Loire and visit a chateau
    Cellar visit and tasting of the best sparkling Cremant de Saumur

    Loire Valley Wines & Chateaux

    Saumur / Chinon / Vouvray / (3 days)

    One day visit to Chateaux Chenonceaux, Amboise and Azay le Rideau
    Taste sparkling white wine in Vouvray and Montlouis-sur-Loire
    Discover sparkling Cremant de Saumur and for fun some red wines in Chinon & Borgueil
    Overnight at Fontevraud Abbey

    I Prefer Red

    Saumur / Irancy / Sancerre / Beaune (5 days)

    Discover Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Pinot Noir red grapes from east to west
    Sample Red wines in Chinon, Irancy, Sancerre, and Burgundy
    Visit Chateau Villandry and Chateau d'Usse, the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty
    Visit the Hospice de Beaune and Clos Vougeot

    Red, White & Rosés

    Loire Valley / Champagne / Burgundy (10 days)

    Discover the sparkling wines of Saumur, Vouvray, Chablis, and Cote d'Or
    Visit the gardens of Chateau Villandry, Chateau Azay Le Rideau
    Cellar visit in the Grand Cru Village of Bouzy, the center of Rosé Champagne production
    Visit and multi tastings at Pinot Noir & Chardonnay single varietal specialists
    Cellar visits at Veuve Clicquot and Nicolas Feuillatte

  • Cultural Options

    Chateau de Villandry
    Chateau de Villandry is Known for its famous formal, geometric French gardens three levels, linked by shady pergolas and fountains recreated in Renaissance style. The upper terrace is the Jardin d’Eau, which features fountains, lawns and the reflecting pool. The second level, includes the Decorative Flower Garden, and the Garden of Love and below is the Jardin Potager, or vegetable garden.

    Chateau d’Usse
    Chateau d’Usse A truly romantic castle with poetically Flamboyant Gothic tower and turrets; mysterious and romantic. Many chateaux were built from a stone that whitens with age and gives them a romantic appeal as they do not become grim and sombre with age. It is said to have inspired Charles Perrault to write “Sleeping Beauty”. The house is furnished in the period style of the 16th and 17th centuries.

    Royal Abbey of Fontevraud
    The Abbey of Fontevraud, near Chinon was begun in 1099 by a hermit. Its head was always a woman. It is most famous for Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Louis VII of France and then Henry II, King of England and Count of Anjou, where she spent her last years educating her children, Richard the Lion-Heart and King John.

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