Saumur-Champigny remodelled

Saumur Champigny landscape

The downs and ups of this popular central Loire appellation.

In the 1980s I was based in Paris and Saumur-Champigny, northern heartland of the Saumur appellation, was all the rage. There wasn’t a bistro or brasserie where it didn’t figure prominently on the wine list. Simple and easy drinking, it went down unassumingly with most dishes and wasn’t too hard on the pocket. The 1990s were a different story. Frost hit in a big way in 1991, rain in 1992, prices plunged and all of a sudden Saumur-Champigny was out of fashion. It was time for growers to look...