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Appellation for red wines, rosé wines and white wines. It is named after the town of the same name on the lower Loire in western France in the department of Maine-et-Loire. It lies between the Anjou (with similar wines) and Touraine areas. Saumur is the sparkling wine centre on the Loire and the second largest sparkling wine producer after Champagne. Saumur is also a leader in the production and processing of mushrooms and also plays an important role in horticulture. Around 40% of the rose bushes produced in France come from here. Towering above the town on a hill is a tufa castle built in the 14th century and considered the most beautiful Loire castle. It is used by the wine fraternity "Confrérie des Chevaliers du Sacavins" for its ceremonies and events. The vineyards cover some 2,800 hectares of vines in 36 communes on the slopes of the Loire and its tributary the Thouet.

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