Behind the Chateau sits the winery carved out of the Limestone cliffs in the 13th century and overlooking the Loire river. For wine lovers, the cave is even more impressive than the Chateau, with numerous paths leading to carved out caverns housing stainless steel vinification equipment and lines of barrels. It reminds one of being in a James Bond movie!
Philippe Vatan was thrust into the limelight at the Chateau du Hureau by the tragic and untimely death of his brother in 1987. Involved in a completely different business up until this time, it is testament to his fortitude and skills as vigneron that he has made such a success of this domaine, now considered one of the top in the appellation. Seventeen hectares (42 acres) including 21 separate vineyard plots are spread around the towns of Dampierre Sur Loire, Souzay, Champigny, and Saumur. The vineyards are planted with Cabernet Franc.
Marked by great châteaux built with the same tuffeau limestone that is also responsible for the excavation of so many of the famed Loire caves, Saumur is famous for its Chenin blanc based sparkling wines. Inside the Saumur region, Saumur-Champigny creates some of the Loire’s greatest Cabernet Francs.
Cabernet Franc, a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. Somm Secret—One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.