Our guide to wine tourism in the Vienne

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©Dorian Sacher

Wine lover or just curious? Go on the wine route and visit the estates of the Vienne. Wine tourism is an opportunity to discover the region through the history of its vineyards. Taste them delicious AOC Haut-Poitou and AOC Saumur Nord wines Vienne and go meet passionate producers.

La Vienne, land of vines

viticulture in the Vienne revolves around two large vineyards, which each have their own designation of origin: Haut-Poitou and Saumur.

The Wines of Poitou and the AOC Haut-Poitou

The history of wine in Haut-Poitou dates back to the Middle Ages. It is during this period of history that we find the first evidence of viticultural and wine-making activities near the abbeys. At that time, the consumption of this alcoholic drink was reserved for the wealthy. Little by little, the culture of the vine develops in the Vienne and in Deux-Sèvres. In the 18th centuryrd century, wine is no longer reserved for an elite and 40 hectares of vines are cultivated in the department of Vienne. But invasions of insects and parasites severely affect the vineyards. While in Deux-Sèvres, priority is given to breeding, while in Haut-Poitou, winegrowers replant. Today, the vineyards of Poitou are mainly located to the north and west of Poitiers.

Haut-Poitou wines are grown on clay-limestone soils. They are characterized by a sensation of freshness and lightness and are enjoyed young. The vineyard of AOC Haut-Poitou covers 700 hectares north of Poitiers and near Futuroscope. Since 2011, 150 hectares have benefited from the controlled designation of origin.

Several grape varieties are grown by the winegrowers on this terroir: gamay noir, cabernet franc, pinot noir and sauvignon.

Saumur North wines Vienne and the AOC Saumur

North of the Vienne, in the Loudunais, some winegrowers produce wines in the territories of the Saumur appellation. The vineyard is cultivated on white Anjou tuffeau chalk soils. The grape varieties benefit from the sweetness and character of theAOC Saumur, created in 1936.
On this territory, different grape varieties are produced: Cabernet Franc for red, Chenin for white and Chardonnay for sparkling wines.

The peculiarity of Saumur wines du Loudunais is that they age and are vinified in cellars dug into the tuffeau, in old mushroom beds, such as can be found near Saumur. Thus, they benefit from a stable temperature all year round, between 10 and 15°. Often, the vines are located above these cellars, on a clay-limestone subsoil. About thirty winegrowers are present in the Loudunais country, distributed between 9 municipalities and over nearly 500 hectares in AOC Saumur.

On the wine route in the Vienne

The vineyards of Vienne are revealed on the wine route, a circuit that allows you to meet winegrowers and producers, while discovering the territory and its riches.

The Domaine de la Rôtisserie, for a tasting in a beautiful cellar in Tuffeau

This family wine estate of about twenty hectares is placed on the slopes of Marigny-Brizay. Located south of the Loire, the Rotisserie area enjoys an oceanic climate. It offers different wines in AOC Haut-Poitou, available in red, white and rosé, from Sauvignon, Gamay and Cabernet Franc grape varieties. The owners welcome you on site in a magnificent cellar, with an oven dug in freestone. During these free guided tours, discover the vines, the profession of winegrower and the wine cellar.

The Domaine de l'Épinay, to discover the estate aboard taxi-vines

If you come to the Vienne in the spring, don't miss the open days of the Domaine de l’Epinay. Explore it in a festive and warm atmosphere, aboard vineyard taxis, share a winegrower's meal and enjoy a tavern afternoon. All year round by appointment, it is possible to visit the cellars and cellar and taste the wines. Led by Quentin and Laurent Menestreau, representing the 4rd generation of winegrowers on these lands, L’Épinay extends over around thirty hectares sharing 4 communes benefiting from the Saumur appellation. Their specialties are Saumur Puy Notre-Dame, cabernet and Coteaux de Saumur.

Vallet father and son, for an unusual stay in a troglodyte house

In Saint-Leger-de-Montbrillais, the Vallet family has been cultivating its vines for several generations according to wine-growing tradition, using manual techniques. The wines are vinified in cellars dug into the tuffeau. Near their estate, the owners offer you an unusual stay in their troglodyte, which can accommodate up to 12 people. You can taste their delicious AOC Saumur wines, made from Chenin and Cabernet grape varieties and visit their farm.

Do you want to taste the gastronomic specialties of the Vienne ? Test the gourmet road trip in Haut-Poitou.

Vineyard Domaine de la Tour Beaumont Poitou creativity and attractiveness agency 679 1 - Tourism Vienne©ACAP

The Domaine de Villemont, to live new experiences in the heart of the vineyards

Ideally located between the Futuroscope and Center Parcs Bois aux Daims, the Bourdier family awaits you in Seuilly-Mirebeau. Independent winegrowers, they produce white, red and rosé AOC wines from Haut-Poitou. The Villemont estate opens its doors to you for guided tours: exploration of the vines and the cellar, presentation of grape varieties and tastings, discovery of food and wine pairings around a platter of charcuterie and cheese.

Throughout the year, the Bourdier family introduces you to wine tourism in the Vienne by offering you different exotic experiences: horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage, hiking or mountain biking, concerts, vintage car rally. They also organize special days for Christmas and for the harvest.

find local wines from Vienne on the online store from the Comptoir du Poitou.

Passing through Poitiers? Also take the opportunity to discover the Poitevine breweries and taste the local products to associate with the different wines