This cave is huge with extensive caverns running for hundreds of yards back into the hillside. The tunnels are lined with casks and some cave-rooms are filled with antique bottles of wine covered with mold and dust while others are filled with neat stacks of cases which contain much more recent wine. Most of the current wine is held from 6 months to 2 years. You can feel the decades of winemaking contained within this rocky cavern. As you walk far into the cave, the temperature drops until you are shivering in your summer clothes perfect for keeping wine, but a little chilly for humans.
This cold temperature finally pushes you back to the warm mouth of the cave where there is a long counter with a friendly person to answer all your questions about the wine of the region, pointing out the vineyard locations on a map conveniently spread out on the countertop. Cave de Monplaisir is owned by three Chinon wine estates: Domain de L’Abbey, Jean-Maurice Raffault and Domaine du Raffault. The region’s wines are based on the Cabernet Franc grape.
We tasted several red wines since we had only a very short drive up the hill to our hotel in Chinon. Be sure to stop by and taste what is considered some of the best wine in the Loire region.