The terroir

A privileged geographic location

The wine-growing terroir is not just a matter of geological data. It is a complex notion which combines, in a geographical area, the landscape, homogeneous climatic conditions, the type of soil and know-how, all of which give a wine its specificity.

The Domaine de Rocheville enjoys a privileged geographical location in the Loire Valley, classified since 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and at the heart of one of the most renowned Loire appellations: l’AOC Saumur Champigny.

This small appellation, renowned for its red wines, extends over only nine villages. Parnay, located halfway between Tours and Angers, on the famous Greenwich meridian, is one of them.
It is blessed by the gods because it enjoys a terroir and a microclimate that is particularly protected by the Fontevraud forest to the south-east, the Loire to the north-east and the Thouet to the west.

In Parnay, on the hillside, the rainfall is one of the lowest in the region with an average of 600 mm per year. In comparison, Angers, 40 km away, receives 850 mm/year and Cholet, 60 km away, has an average of 950 mm/year. The Rocheville vineyards therefore benefit from a particularly hot and dry climate for the Loire Valley.

Le terroir de tuffeau calcaire
Subsoil composed of tufa stone

The Saumur Champigny terroir

All the plots of the Domaine de Rocheville, with the exception of one, are situated on the Parnay plateau and its clay-limestone soil are among the most interesting in the appellation. Champigny comes from the Latin ‘campus ignis’ which means ‘field of fire’, an etymology that says a lot…

Indeed, the subsoil is composed of tufa/ limestone. Like a sponge, this limestone rock from the Cretaceous period ( -145 to -65 million years before our era… ) is capable of storing excess winter rainfall and releasing it sparingly in periods of drought. The vine sends its roots deep into the depths of the hillside and thus receives a constant and regular supply of food. The tufa can also accumulate heat during the day to let it escape at night.

Wine and troglodytes

These exceptional conditions allow us to obtain fruity, full and velvety wines, easy to drink in their youth but also great ageing potential when they are well vinified.

On the surface, the soil of each plot gives the Rocheville vintages/wines their unique character.

The soft, easy to dig tufa/ limestone gives the houses and monuments of the Loire Valley their slightly brilliant whiteness. It is its extraction over centuries that has given birth to the underground/troglodytic cellars located under the Rocheville estate, a peaceful sanctuary where some old vintages are aged in excellent temperature and humidity conditions.

Cave Domaine de Rocheville
Rocheville Cellar

Cabernet Franc

Two grape varieties are grown at Domaine de Rocheville. Our Saumur Champigny and our Saumur Rosé are made from Cabernet Franc, a grape variety whose reputation is well established! Famous in the Bordeaux region, Cabernet Franc is also the star of the red wines of the Loire Valley, particularly in Anjou and Touraine (Chinon, Bourgueil, Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil and of course Saumur Champigny), where it is nicknamed “le Breton”. François Rabelais himself sang its praises in the 16th century.

Its fine and subtle character is particularly revealed on the beautiful tufa terroirs / limestone soils of the AOC Saumur Champigny.

Always fruity, more or less tannic, its wines offer a fine bouquet of red and black fruit, raspberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant, sometimes blackberry or cherry with floral aromas of violet and iris. On the palate, the tufa/ limestone gives it a characteristic freshness.

Saumur Champigny can be light and airy (like our “le Page” wine) or extraordinarily concentrated (like our “Le Fou du Roi” wine). From spring wines/vinatages to be enjoyed throughout the year for pleasure, to powerful, well-structured and long ageing wines/vintages, the diversity of the Domaine de Rocheville’s plots creates an astonishing range of red wines.

However, one can always recognize a Saumur Champigny by the velvety smoothness of its tannins.


In the first classification of known wines, “le Jullien”, in 1856, the “Champigny” was mentioned, but the quality of the white wines of Saumur was known above all: “The great white wines of the coast, short in size, are of excellent quality, fruity, aromatic and fullbodied”. One could swear they were hearing a description of our Saumur Blanc “La Dame”!

Once the flagship grape variety of the “Vallée des Rois”, where it appeared as early as the Middle Ages, Chenin Blanc was gradually eclipsed by Cabernet Franc, especially after the creation of the AOC Saumur Champigny. Yet this magnificent white grape variety is so emblematic of the region that it is called “Pineau de Loire”.

Indeed, it adapts perfectly to the different terroirs of Anjou, Saumur and Touraine.

It is used in the production of no less than 32 AOP wines, whether dry, medium, sweet or sparkling.

Chenin Blanc finds its finest expression on a clay-limestone soil, such as that of the Parnay hillside. Close to the Loire, Chenin Blanc takes advantage of the early autumn mists to develop its noble rot. The latter, pushed to the extreme, enables the harvest of great liqueur-like wines by successive sorting. Harvested when less ripe, Chenin Blanc produces dry, powerful wines with a structured acidity and an astonishing aromatic complexity: aromas of citrus fruit, white and yellow fruit, white flowers, honey…

Matured under strict conditions, Chenin produces exceptional wines. Through vintages such as “La Jouvencelle” and “La Dame”, whose grapes ripen on the Parnay plateau, or “Clos de la Thibaudière”, from the historical terroir of Brézé, Rocheville is part of this logic which aims to bring to life these great wines which have sometimes been forgotten.

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Fast delivery

Delivery in France
A flat rate of 29€ applies to all orders of 6, 12, 18 or 24 bottles under 300€. It includes the preparation of your order in secure packaging and delivery to your home or to a relay point. It is offered from 300€ of purchase. Delivery is generally made within 5 working days.

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