To Top

Essential Winemakers of France ©Opening a Bottle

Saumur-Champigny, Loire

Primary Grapes: Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc

Primary Appellations/Cru: Saumur-Champigny AOC

American Importer: Polaner Selections



*Learn about these icons

Why Château du Hureau is Essential

The father-daughter team behind Saumur-Champigny’s Château du Hureau represent the fifth and sixth generation of winemakers in their family. From around the stunning riverside château with its octagonal tower, Philippe and Agathe Vatan source exquisite Cabernet Franc from the vineyards that grow from the hillside above their underground chalk cellar. But my first introduction to Château du Hureau came not in the form of Cabernet Franc, but with one of their two Chenin Blanc. As the vividly detailed “Argile” made clear, Chenin Blanc from Saumur should not be passed over.

That said, Saumur — and certainly the smaller Saumur-Champigny appellation within it — is also synonymous with Cabernet Franc, and rightly so. Château du Hureau’s 17 hectares of vineyards are rooted into a soft chalk subsoil from the Cretaceous Period called tuffeau, which is found across this belt of the Loire River Valley. Here, it lends Cabernet Franc a mineral edge on the finish, and keeps the wines lithe and agile, something Philippe and Agathe Vatan are particularly adept at preserving in their winery.

Vigneron Philippe Vatan of Château Hureau. ©Clay McLachlan of Claypix

Vigneron Philippe Vatan of Château Hureau. ©Clay McLachlan of Claypix

Wines to Seek Out

There are four red wines under the Saumur-Champigny AOC appellation and two Saumur Blanc, which add dimension to the lineup. “Foudre” is often recognized as one of the top Chenin Blanc from the area.

Château du Hureau “Argile” Saumur Blanc

With its qualities of pear-skin, apricot, marzipan and beeswax, the “Argile” Saumur Blanc can lend a needed slice of joy and rapture to even the darkest days. In one way, it is like a great Riesling in that it conjures the mood of sweetness without being sweet.

Château du Hureau “Lisagathe” Saumur-Champigny

Their top bottle, “Lisagathe” Saumur-Champigny, is Cabernet Franc at its most elegant: generously fruity on the palate with juicy but precise acidity, and barely-there tannins to provide just enough grip. This is a Cabernet Franc to please Old World Pinot Noir lovers.

Visiting Château Hureau

Château du Hureau welcomes wine tastings from 9am–12:30am and 2pm–5:30pm, Monday through Friday, and by appointment only on Saturdays. Contact them in advance.


*Icons at the top appear in a hover state on certain browsers. Visit the main Essential Winemakers page for a key to the complete set of icons.


Shop for Château du Hureau’s Wines

Support opening a bottle by shopping at


Opening a Bottle is an independent online magazine focused on telling the story of unique wines, winemakers and wine regions.

All rights reserved. Photographs marked “©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle” are our sole property and may not be redistributed for any reason. Contact us if you would like to license imagery … we do love seeing our images used, but demand credit or compensation depending on usage.

You can also contact us if you would like us to review samples, participate in a press trip or review a sponsorship opportunity.

Copyright © 2021 / Kevin Day, Opening a Bottle & Headwaters Content. Design: HeyDay Creative