Langlois Chateau is the smallest of the big sparkling wine producers based in Saumur with production of around 1 million bottles per year. You don't need us to take you there (although we are more than happy to do so and if you don't have a car then you might just need us). Give them a call yourself and call in for what is certainly one of the best visits around. For just 2€ per person you will get a quick 20 minute lesson in the classroom, a trip around the cellars and a comprehensive wine tasting including the sparkling wines for which they are reputed as well as a range of still wines produced from vines they own in other appellations along the Loire valley from Nantes to Sancerre.
View from the winery courtyard looking across to the chateau of Saumur. Don't expect to find a chateau here, the name comes from the marriage of Monsieur Langlois to a young lady called Chateau hence the name Langlois Chateau!
After the second fermentation in bottle and ageing 'sur lattes', the next stage in the production of 'methode traditionelle' sparkling wines is to slowly move the sediment in the bottle down in to the neck.
Traditionally this was done by hand but these days large gyropalletes are used that do the job more quickly and efficiently. Premium products such as Langlois' top cuvée Quadrille, are still done by hand.
On this occasion our tour was led by Pierre who joined the company 6 months ago having completed a 4 year degree in international trade one of which was spent in Manchester. He speaks excellent English and clearly comes from the Michel Launay school of tour guides as he too is full of funny anecdotes, good humour and expertise keeping us amused and entertained for nearly 2 hours.
And, we like the wines, so all in all a good experience. Langlois Chateau manages to keep it personal. You feel like you are in a living, working environment and are likely to see some real action during harvest if you call in. We had a word with the winemaker who mentioned that the grapes are of average quality this year - time will tell - the rain keeps falling.
3 rue Leopold Palustre
St Hilaire St Florent
Tel 00 33 (0)2 41 40 21 40