Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.)

A.O.C. is the certification granted to French production of wines and other agricultural products.  It is based on the set of environmental factors that affect a crop's characteristics such  as environment, farming practices and specific growth habitat. Collectively, these characteristics are said to be "character".

Appellation d'Origine Protégée (A.O.P.)

The French government has officially announced that A.O.C. system for wine classification will be replaced by an new quality hierarchy with the top level being an A.O.P. (Appellation d'Origine Protégée).


Saumur is located on the southern banks of the Loire just east of the confluence with the River Thouet.

Saumur's dry reds are becoming more popular, although it was for the sparkling wines that the area had become appreciated. Cabernet Franc is without doubt Saumur's flagship red-wine grape variety producing bright, fragrant and refreshing wines.

Saumur's sparkling wines are the most significant product by volume with large volumes produced each year by a number of long-standing houses, such as Bouvet-Ladubay, Ackerman and Gratien & Meyer.

Saumur sits on a bed of tuffeau – the porous limestone which makes the area well suited to the production of sparkling wines.  The vast underground caves provide ideal cellars  for storing wines during their ageing.

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Every year, 28 million bottles wine are produced in Saumur!  The wines are divided into 4 categories: red; rosé; white and sparkling.

Within these 4 categories there are  7 A.O.C. (Appellation d'origine contrôlée):

Red Saumur

The original

  • A.O.C. since 1936
  • Area: 550 ha
  • Volume produced: 30,000 hl
  • 3.9 million bottles per year
  • Grape variety: Cabernet franc

White Saumur

Fresh, sweet & delicate

  • A.O.C. since 1936
  • Area: 390 ha
  • Volume produced: 20,000 hl
  • 2.6 million bottles per year
  • Grape variety: Chenin

Saumur Rosé

Dry, tender & fruity

Cabernet de Saumur changed its name in 2016 to Saumur Rosé

  • A.O.C. since 1964
  • Area: 80 ha
  • Volume produced: 4,380 hl
  • 570,000 bottles per year
  • Grape variety: Cabernet franc

Brut Saumur

Brilliant, charming & sparkling

  • A.O.C. since 1957
  • Area: 1,190 ha
  • Volume produced: 75,000 hl
  • 10 million bottles per year
  • Grape variety: Chenin (mainly for white), Cabernet Sauvignon (mainly for pink)

Saumur Champigny

Flexible, straightforward & fiery

  • A.O.C. since 1957
  • Area: 1,570 ha
  • Volume produced: 84,600 hl
  • 11 million bottles per year
  • Grape variety: Cabernet franc

Coteaux de Saumur

Rich, rare & exotic

  • A.O.C. since 1962
  • Area: 15 ha
  • Volume produced: 360 hl
  • 40,000 bottles per year
  • Grape variety: Chenin

Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame

Strong, powerful and refined

  • W.C.A. since 2008
  • Area: 60 ha
  • Volume produced: 2,250 hl
  • 290,000 bottles per year
  • Grape variety: Cabernet franc