Bouvet–Ladubay is the second oldest producer of sparkling wine in Saumur. It was founded in 1851 by 23 year old Etienne Bouvet, who was the son of a local vigneron, and his wife Celestine Ladubay. Intriguingly, in 1873 Etienne was sent an anonymous letter detailing a coat of arms on a sheet of paper – and the arms of the house were born: two silver lions symbolising courage, strength and righteousness, and it is also the symbol of the guardian of Ogemius, the Celtic deity of opulence! Etienne died in 1908 aged 80 without any direct descendants and, weakened by the first world war and the economic crisis of 1929, the business was auctioned in 1932 and bought by the Monmousseau family who still run it today, now fourth generation, headed up by Patrice Monmousseau [although briefly owned by the Taittinger group from 1974 until 2005, Patrice Monmousseau retained total control of the direction of the house during this time]. Each year Bouvet-Ladubay collaborate with over 100 growers to source the grapes for their wines. Pressing is monitored in the vineyards, then the juice is brought to their winery in St-Hilaire-St-Florent under the supervision of the Bouvet-Ladubay technical team. After the first fermentation ageing is carried out in stainless steel tanks or, for some of their premium cuvées, oak barrels. Their impressive range of wines are kept “sur latte” from between 9 and 24 months, depending on the style of the wine, in their tuffeau stone cellars which are located right beneath the ruins of the St Florent Abbey. Bouvet-Ladubay is now one of the largest producers of sparkling wine in Saumur and known as one of the greatest producers of méthode traditionnelle wine in the Loire.