Saumur is a good-sized town notable for two things in particular: its excellent sparkling wine (some would say as good as champagne) and its wealth of aristocratic military associations, based on its status as home to the French Cavalry Academy. The centre ville, with its warren of cobblestone lanes and jumble of half-timbered buildings and grand white tufa townhouses, runs along the waterfront in the shadows of the majestic château.

A large number of manufacturers of the famous Saumur sparkling wine cluster in the suburb of St-Hilaire-St-Florent, and are especially prominent along the riverside rue Ackerman and rue Leopold-Palustre. Particularly good cellars include Ackerman-Laurance, Bouvet-Ladubay, Langlois-Château, Gratien & Meyer, Louis de Grenelle and Veuve Amiot; choosing between them is a matter of personal taste, and possibly a question of opening hours, though most are open daily throughout the warmer months.

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