Saumur was capital of the Huguenots under Henri IV and then became an important trading center in the 17th century. The name of the appellation Saumur-Champigny
may come from the Latin campus igni or ‘fire field' for the unusually hot summers in this microclimate. In the appellation of Saumur, the name Champigny may be used for the greatest red wines grown in delimited areas of eight villages near Saumur: Souzay-Champigny, Chace, Montsoreau, Parnay, Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg, Saumur, Truquant, and Varrains. The appellation of Saumur-Champigny was established on December 31st, 1957.
The vineyards of Saumur-Champigny mainly occupy Late Cretaceous sedimentary soils on the southwest border of the Paris Basin. This area is marked by the white soil of chalk and tufa that gave Anjou Blanc (white Anjou) its name. (Anjou Noir, black Anjou, sits on dark soils on ancient Armorican bedrock.) The vines of Saumur-Champigny occupy a remarkable position on an Upper Turonian and tufa plateau, where they enjoy the influences of a temperate oceanic climate.
Saumur-Champigny covers about 1,400 hectares (3,459 acres) and produces 83,000 hectoliters of wine annually. Cabernet Franc dominates, blended often with Cabernet Sauvignon and occasionally with Pineau d'Aunis. Saumur-Champigny is a red wine with a luminous garnet color. The tufa soil gives finesse and lightness. Most of these wines may be drunk young, but with aging (5 to 20 years, depending on the wine) they will reveal their full complexity. The full character of the appellation is captured by such producers as Domaine des Roches Neuves, Clos Rougeard, Domaine Saint-Just, and Château de Villeneuve.
More informations on the website of the wines of Saumur-Champigny