Château Yvonne

Loire Valley / France

At A Glance


Mathieu Vallée


Saumur, Saumur-Champigny


Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc


Organic, Biodynamic

Their Story

“My vines are unique: it’s worth coming to Saumur in June, you’ll see them immediately. ” — Mathieu Vallée

Château Yvonne sits in the village of Parnay in the appellation Saumur-Champigny. Surrounded by exceptional terroir and talented vignerons, Château Yvonne certainly does not sit alone but it is the story of Château Yvonne which separates them from their neighbors.

The domaine dates back to the 16th century but it wasn’t until 1813 when the domaine began producing wine. In 1997, Yvonne et Jean-François Lamunière decided to recreate the abandoned vineyard with the help of Françoise Foucault of Clos Rougeard. Twenty years later, in 2007, Mathieu Vallée took over and decided to keep the name Château Yvonne in hommage to the incredible work done by the previous owners. Mathieu has managed to improve the quality of the wines by reducing the amount of new oak used and converting all farming to biodynamic. The vineyards have been farmed organically since 1997 and biodynamically since 2012.

Mid Post Image
Mathieu explains the significance of pruning the vines and why he waits until the Spring to begin.

Château Yvonne consists of 11 hectares spread over four villages (Parnay, Turquant, Montsoreau, Champigny) with a total of 27 parcels. The domaine has 3 hectares of Chenin Blanc and 8 hectares of Cabernet Franc. Of the domaine’s 8 hectares of Cabernet Franc, they have 3 parcels of over 70 year old vines bordering the Loire River. Each of Chateau Yvonne’s vineyards are farmed biodynamically and all vineyard work is done manually.

In the cave, Mathieu makes the wines with as little manipulation as possible. Only native yeasts are used, vinification happens without temperature control at the back of the domaine’s cool tuffeau cave, and there are no additions other than sulfur. Mathieu uses new and used oak barrels, foudres, Stockinger barrels, large tanks and concrete. He never buys second hand or “used” oak. All wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Interview with Mathieu Vallée, Owner and Winemaker of Château Yvonne

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED? I come from St. Nicolas de Bourgueil. Another vineyard in the Loire. My father was a winemaker and my oldest brother took over the family domaine. I was studying to be an engineer and it’s not until I was 30 years old that I became a winemaker. It was not planned! IF YOU COULD BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH IN THE VINEYARD WHAT WOULD IT BE? Work as naturally as possible. Sulfites only in limited, tiny doses; 100% manual work in the vines: thinning out the canopy, pruning, and harvesting. There are only 3 of us at the domaine and I like this artisanal size. WHAT EXCITES YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR VINEYARDS? What I’m passionate about is the key step during harvest where the work of the year in the vines is found in the cellar. My vines are unique: it’s worth coming to Saumur in June, you’ll see them immediately. Vines in organic agriculture are still quite rare. IF YOU COULD SAY ONE THING TO THE SOMMELIERS WHO ARE INTRODUCING PEOPLE TO YOUR WINES FOR THE FIRST TIME, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Yvonne is good! I’m joking… Close your eyes, imagine the Loire, the vines, the tuffeau stone (limestone stones typical of Saumur); it’s this that you’re drinking! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC? Jazz, notably the period of Miles Davis. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERHERO POWER, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE? After the frost this year, I’d like to be the “Super Weather forecaster” to control the weather. Actually, my profession of winemaker is all I need, without extra powers.