Perched on the famous hill of Sancerre, at the heart of the village that was recognized as one of France’s most beautiful villages in 2022, our tourist establishment welcomes you from April to November and offers a place to discover some of the Sancerre winegrowing region’s most memorable experiences.
Designed to welcome a wide variety visitors, Maison des Sancerre offers fun activities for both children and adults that are adapted to your level of wine knowledge. The building also has two large rooms available for rent for professional events and for business tourism.
It is therefore possible to discover the magic of Sancerre’s vineyards by visiting the interactive museum (45 min) and its scented garden, before finishing off with a tasting of wines that are representative of the diversity of the appellation’s different terroirs and vintages.
The well-stocked shop also offers a wide range of artisanal arts and crafts as well as books related to wine.
During the summer season, consult the program detailing the numerous wine-related activities and the calendar of events that showcase our appellation: the Sancerre Trail Run, the spring Sancerre Wine Fair, TGIWF – Thank God It’s Wine Friday (Les Vindredis), etc. There are so many reasons to come visit Sancerre !
In keeping with the image of the nobility and ancientness of its terroir, Maison des Sancerre is housed in a heritage building, the so-called “Farnault” house, which dates back to the end of the Middle Ages or the beginning of the Renaissance.
Although part of the Farnault house (the bottom of the octagonal tower on the façade) may be older, most of the building seems to date back to the 15th century.
It was most certainly built by a powerful bourgeois or landowning family, yet it is not known what it was built for. Some believe that it may have been the residence of the Lord of Herry (a village located south-east of Sancerre, on the left bank of the Loire River). Information about the building as of the 18th century is more readily available.
Sold to a religious organization, the building then housed nuns who cared for patients from the local hospital, which was located where the town hall stands today. At the time of the French Revolution, in 1793, the building was confiscated and sold as state property : it was the sub-prefecture for a short time, before being sold to an individual circa 1800.
The house then became the church rectory.
After that, it was purchased by a notary named Quilliet, who, in 1860 decided to raise the staircase tower on the façade, and add notches to it. In the first half of the 20th century, the house welcomed refugees during the Spanish Civil War and during the Occupation, the people of Sancerre hosted clandestine dances there. After WWII, around 1950, the building became the municipal preschool and some winegrowers today remember having been pupils there.
After being purchased by a family association based in Bourges in the aim of turning it into a holiday centre, the building was soon abandoned, fell progressively into ruin, and due to lack of money, was covered with sheet metal for over fifteen years.
In 1968, the Sancerre Viticultural Union first showed interest in purchasing the building in order to set up a Winegrowers’ House. The project never came to fruition and the building continued to become more run down.
In spite of its condition, the State decided to protect the building as a Historical Monument (registered on 15 March 1968), which contributed to its preservation and paved the way for future restoration.
In 1996, the winegrowers of Sancerre finally bought the house and undertook a very long and fastidious renovation of the property, under the scientific and technical supervision of the Regional Commission of France’s Historical Monuments.
Renovation work began in 2002 and lasted three years:
On 10 June 2005, Maison des Sancerre officially opened its doors to the general public and the dream of an entire generation of winegrowers finally became a reality.
In order to accommodate all visitors, regular improvements have been made and the entire layout was redesigned in 2015-2016.
A visit to Maison des Sancerre is composed of three parts that can be enjoyed as a whole or individually, allowing visitors to always have a reason to come back to visit the vineyards of Sancerre, a panoramic view of which can be admired from the terrace.Access the virtual tour
Explore the vineyards of Sancerre through an 8-part exhibition that uses scenography to better understand their characteristics and specificities.
During the visit, you will learn about the history of the vineyards, the region’s unique geology, the organization of the winegrowing villages, and you will hear the stories of the men and women who bring life to the vineyards with “à la carte” interactive content. You can expand on your knowledge about work performed in the vineyards depending on the season, as well as at the winery, by experiencing the fermentation process first hand inside a vinification tank. A 4-D film will give you an immersive experience in the special atmosphere of harvest time. Then, you can explore the characteristic aromas of our wines in the “Scented Garden”. To finish your visit, you can put what you have learned to the test with a tasting of our wines on the terrace, whose unbeatable view overlooks the vineyards.
Wine tasting is the climax of a visit to Maison des Sancerre ! In our tasting areas, either indoors or outdoors, you will be able to take the time to discover the diversity of Sancerre wines. Each week, 16 wines are selected to allow you to discover the entire ranges of what the growers produce : blends from the three main terroirs (“caillottes” (little stones), “terres blanches” (white earth and flint), terroir cuvées (grapes from a single terroir), cuvées from selected plots, as well as past vintages to show you the ageing potential of our wines… There is a wide choice of options for discovering Sancerre’s wines and the style of each of its producers ! At the end of your tasting session, you can purchase the bottles you most enjoyed. And, our hosts and hostesses can help you prolong your exploration by making an appointment for you to visit your favourite grower’s winery.
The shop offers a wide selection of articles and accessories related to wine, the Sancerre name and its vineyards. The carefully selected products are eco-friendly and locally manufactured whenever possible. Each season, we offer temporary collections featuring items, jewellery and accessories from our own collections or that are crafted by artisans and artists inspired by Sancerre wines. The shop is stocked regularly throughout the year so that each time you return for a visit, you will find new items.
The entire Maison des Sancerre boutique is also accessible online.
Families with young children : play areas are available and an activity booklet is given to all children. Future wine tasters can also enjoy Sauvignon Blanc grape juice made from grapes harvested at local estates or cordials prepared with locally made syrups. A baby changing room is available.
For those who are on the move : the Sancerre region boasts a wide variety of travel options (river cruises, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, trail running, etc.) and our vineyards run alongside the paths that are part of The Loire by Bike. Our site is therefore equipped with bicycle parking and a baggage storage area.
Disabled visitors : the entire visit is accessible to people with disabilities (nearby parking, elevator, access ramp, adapted restrooms)
Foreign visitors : our renowned wines attract a great number of foreign visitors. We have therefore made it possible for their visit to be enhanced by English translations. All of the spec sheets for our wines are also available in both English and French.
Dogs are welcome on site, including the terrace, provided that they are kept on a leash.
Accueil Vélo is a label for bicycle tourists. It guarantees them a warm welcome that is adapted to their travel needs throughout their entire journey. Accueil Vélo allows cyclists to find establishments located less than 5 km from a bike route. We happen to be close to the Loire à Vélo circuit (3 km from Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre and Saint-Thibault).
Vignobles & Découvertes is a national label that recognizes quality service in wine tourism. Created in 2009 by the Ministries of Agriculture and Tourism, its objective is to give more visibility to viticultural areas. It enables clients to organize weekends and short stays in the area more easily. The label is awarded by Atout France, an association for the promotion of tourism in France.
Qualité Tourisme TM, is the only state-approved label given to tourism professionals for the quality of their welcome and what they have to offer. Maison des Sancerre was the first establishment in the Cher department to be awarded with this label.
2022 Wine Tourism Gold Trophy for the “Promotion of heritage” is a label awarded by tourism professionals organized by Atout France and the magazine “Terres de Vins”.
Maison des Sancerre is open :
From Saturday 1 April to Saturday 11 November 2023
Every day from 11.00 AM to 6.30 PM
Full rate: €5 (visit only) – €10 (visit + tasting of 3 wines)
Reduced rate: (students aged 16 and up, unemployed, handicapped guests, groups of over 15): €4 (visit only) – € 9 (visit + tasting of 3 wines)
Free: children under 16, holders of the PRO TOURISME card
40 to 60 min – Self-guided tour with booklet
Sancerre is a 1 hr and 50 min drive from Paris on the A6 + A77 motorways (exit Sancerre) and 1 hr and 50 min by train (Tracy Sancerre or Cosne sur Loire stations) – a 40 min drive from Bourges on the D955 – 45 min from Nevers on the A77 then the D955.
3, rue du méridien - 18300 Sancerre