- Caves Duhard 500 years of history -

15th and 16th centuries : the quarries of tufa stones

The history of the Caves Duhard dates back from the 15th century, with the modification of the chateau of Amboise by King Charles VIII and his wife, Ann of Brittany.

In 1494, Charles VIII leaves for Italy to conquer the kingdom of Naples. He stays there for approximately one year. The king by fascinated by the architecture, above all in Florence and Naples.

During this military campaign, he recruited Italian artists to embellish his chateau in Amboise. These artists are Frà Gioconco (engineer), Domenico da Cortona (architect), Pacchiarotti (sculptor) and the gardener Don Pacello da Mercogliano who made wonders in the royal estate of Château-Gaillard. So became Amboise the cradle of the French Renaissance. Court life got organized and trade was developed, above all wine export, thanks to the Loire River and its flat bottom boats named toues.

Kings Louis XII and Francis Ist made more constructions in the royal chateau of Amboise. King Francis Ist invited Leonardo da Vinci in 1516 at the CVourt of France, giving him the Clos-Lucé Mansion. Dug in the 12th century under the Châteliers plateau, former Gaul’s oppidum of the Turons tribe, the Caves Duhard already existed at that time. One of the first owners of the vineyard and of the caves was Pierre Boreau (dead in 1498), notary in Amboise, whose son William wrote the will of Leonardo da Vinci dead at the Clos-Lucé on May 2nd 1519.

We decided to pay tribute to Francis Ist and Leonardo da Vinci giving their names to our two most beautiful galleries in the caves, and imagining a scene between these two famous people, that you will discover during the tour.

From the 16th to the 19th century : 

During the following 350 years, from 1524 and 1874, the Caves Duhard are a pack of traditional cave dwellings (troglo) facing the Loire River.

Located only 600 meters away from the royal chateau of Amboise, the Clos-Lucé Mansion and Château-Gaillard, the inhabitants of the troglos grew their gardens and developed fast wine trading with the thousands of boat cruising yearly on the Loire River.

Our caves are perfect spots to store barrels, and to dig tanks of fermentation and tanks for pressing machines directly in the rock.

1874 - the Duhard family, birth of the collection :

The Duhard family was a family of coopers settled in Amboise since a long time. Their wine merchant job started at the 56-58 rue du Rocher des Violettes as extra activity to the coopery manufacture.
This is how the new adventure was made possible !

The amenities in the cave as well as the very good location made them important wine merchants in Amboise in a short time. And more and more barrels travelled from the caves to the rest of the country through the River !

The work of 5 generations of Duhard family permitted the creation of our extraordinary collection of vouvray wines from 1874 until nowadays, offering a huge declination of wonderful and unique colors.

Each vintage of vouvray has its own personality, its own style, which the result of patience and which can’t be copied.
Each wine has its proper aromas, its proper spirit, its proper soul.

At the beginning of the 20th century, concrete tanks were built for the assemblages of the wines.

In 2004, Daniel Gatay bought the caves to Michel Duhard and developed the tourist activities.

In 2017, supported by Daniel Gatay, Pascal Mineau regained the Caves Duhard and started to develop a huge project in adequacy with Loire Valley wines and gastronomy.

The Caves Duhard propose :

  • 2 different tours : Sensorial et Vintages Odyssey.
  • Œnology Animations with sommeliers.
  • Duhard wine cellar as well as selected producers.
  • Delicatessen shop with exclusively French products.
  • The oeno-gastronmic ateliers, 16 dates to book.
  • A web site to order wine, book your tours and your meals.
  • A delivery service in France et international export.
  • Halls to organize corporate events or private parties.

What client say?

Ministère de l'intérieur - L.CH

Par le présent message et au nom de notre direction générale, je tenais tout particulièrement à vous remercier pour l’accueil qui a été réservé à notre délégation le 16 mai 2019 lors de notre visite aux Caves DUHARD. Ce déplacement au sein de votre magnifique domaine était un ravissement pour l’ensemble de nos délégués qui ont apprécié l’accueil qui leur a été réservé. Ce moment privilégié passé au sein de votre cave a concouru à véhiculer une excellente image de la France auprès de partenaires étrangers attachés à toutes ces valeurs. En vous renouvelant nos remerciements pour l’ensemble de ces attentions, je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur Mineau, l’expression de ma considération distinguée.

Dégustation

Accueil très sympathique, expérience oenotouristique plus qu'intéressante, possibilité d acheté vins, salaisons et huiles produites dans la région.... à faire !

Very Nice

Impeccable hosting and welcoming ! Interesting visit and tpo of the notch tasting ! We recommand the detour. It was a real present...ideas for celebrations and holidays!

What a happiness !

To do absolutely, at least to know a rather rare job. The visit was nice, but the tasting was totally extraordinaire. Advice, anecdotes, good time with good wine. The Loire Wines are not the most known, and that is a shame ! The Caves Duhard should make you change your mind. Go there if only just for an hour of pure pleasure shared with passionate people !

Super

It changes of the habitual visits. Thanks to them, I learned to taste the wine like a pro. Thank you. Very good products to taste with very pleasant persons.

Nice cave !!!

Really nice cave, really good hospitality, tasting with anecdotes on wines and its heritage!!! Really good visit.

Informed advice and nice choice of flasks

A visit of the caves followed by a wine tasting with informed advice and a little bit of cheese to munch on between each glasses. Explanations of tasting and on the aging of the wines. Nice choice of old bottles, perfect to offer oneself wines of a particular year. Reasonable rates.