Chateau du Hureau is located in the small town of Dampierre-sur-Loire, about four miles east of Saumur and 15 miles west of Chinon. The Chateau itself is an impressive sight, with its 18th-century Mansard roof and octagonal tower topped by a boar-headed weathercock, from which the domaine takes its name a hureau is an old, solitary wild boar.
Behind the Chateau sits the winery carved out of the Limestone cliffs in the 13th century and overlooking the Loire river. For wine lovers, the cave is even more impressive than the Chateau, with numerous paths leading to carved out caverns housing stainless steel vinification equipment and lines of barrels.
Philippe Vatan was thrust into the forfront at the Chateau by the tragic and untimely death of his brother in 1987. Involved in a completely different business up until this time, it is testament to his fortitude and skills as vigneron that he has made such a success of this domaine, now considered one of the top in the appellation.
Tuffeau_(a soft chalk from the Cretaceous Period) is the common thread that gives the Saumur-Champigny its distinctive quality. Ch_teau du Hureau encompasses 17 hectares comprised of 21 individual parcels scattered throughout the appellation in Dampierre-sur-Loire, Souzay, Champigny and Saumur. With topsoil layers that vary from fertile clay to sandy soils, as well as multiple sun exposures, each vineyard parcel has a unique terroir that inspires four principal red cuv_es: Tuffe, the delicious "entry-level" red, a blend of 14 tuffeau-dominant parcels, and then three parcellaires wines made from selected parcels of older vines.
Philippe began converting to organic viticulture in the mid 2000s and was officially certified 100% organic as of the 2007 vintage. Vines are hand-pruned and grass grown between the vines is tilled by hand. Philippe meticulously crop-thins his vineyards, dropping fruit and retaining only the best clusters. Multiple passes in the vineyard during during harvest after which the grapes are rigorously hand-sorted in the cellar.