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The troglodyte cellars of the Saumur and Touraine regions

Hidden beneath the peaceful landscape of riverside and rolling hills of the Saumur and Touraine regions is a strange underground world: the troglodyte galleries. Formerly quarries dug out for their tuffeau stone, which was used to build many of the Loire châteaux, these underground networks now contain hotels, mushroom farms and wine cellars, especially for sparkling wines. They are ideal places for storing and tasting wine!

The troglodyte galleries: ideal wine cellars

Discover the fabulous troglodyte cellars of Saumur, along the Thouet, a tributary of the Loire. These vast underground galleries were once famous for their white tuffeau stone, used for the construction of numerous buildings including some of the Loire châteaux and the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, as well as certain villages such as Turquant.

Another original outing for visitors is Troglo Degusto, an underground stroll and tasting session lasting 1.5 hours in the heart of a troglodytic site and during which you can sample AOC Touraine-Chenonceaux wines in the company of the enthusiastic winemakers, Anne and Stéphane. They will tell you about the history of the 600 km of tuffeau galleries hidden beneath the village of Bourré.

These tunnels are home to exceptional wines which are best enjoyed in their caves! The experience is truly unique, and when the heat of summer comes, the troglodyte tunnels are even more refreshing thanks to the combination of the cool location and the coolness of the wine, some of which are sparkling.

Discover the sparkling wines of the troglodyte cellars

Here, delicately sparkling wines rule. They are the pride of the Saumur and Touraine regions, and several producers have underground galleries open for visits.

These include Gratien & Meyer, which dates back to the late 19th century, and the Wine School in Langlois-Château where you can learn about oenology, wine presses and vats, as well as Louis de Grenelle, where visitors discover a former limestone quarry beneath the town of Saumur, in which over 3 million bottles are left to age.

Also discover the Veuve Amiot cellars, whose tunnels can be visited by candlelight. Ackerman, on the other hand, presents its sparkling wines from an artistic angle thanks to exhibition titled “Voyage au centre de la bulle” ("Journey to the center of the bubble").

While visiting a troglodyte site is always exciting, doing so by bicycle is all the more so! At Bouvet-Ladubay you can follow an 8-km underground cycle trail beneath the estate; the troglodyte tunnels here are more than 1000 years old!

A few minutes from Chenonceau, Caves Monmousseau have been applying their skills and knowledge in sparkling wines for 130 years. Boldness is the key to this tour of 15 km of tunnels. Discover a visit organised into three stages: admire the exceptional view of the hillsides overlooking the Cher, then, accompanied by music, enter the start of 450 metres of illuminated tunnels offering a unique perspective of the great châteaux of the Loire, and trace the history and origin of the white tuffeau limestone used to build them. After this trip you will be introduced to the secrets of great sparkling wine, which underpin the ancestral reputation of Monmousseau.