La Tourbeille Vineyard has been an esteemed wine making property since the early 1700’s.  The wine benefits from the sunny, hilltop location above the Dordogne River. A  profound bedrock of limestone and flint provides the mineral base for the vines planted in this ideal limestone-clay soil.

La Tourbeille Vineyard on the Hilltop

 

View from La Toureille Vineyard to the Dordogne River

 

A 1761 family journal describes the enviable prices fetched by the wine as it rolled from the winery on the riverbank to boats below, destined for Bordeaux and then England.

La Tourbeille Family Journal, 1761

 

1761 La Tourbeille Winery on the Dordogne River

 

We moved the winery to the vineyard site in 2011 and modernized operations with custom-made, stainless steel tanks to allow parcel-driven vinification, and a hydraulic press for gentle, precision pressing.

2016 La Tourbeille Winery, Harvest Day

 

In recent years we ushered in the 4th generation of this French-American wine-making family: our children joined us in our work, bringing fresh energy, enthusiasm and ideas.

Geneviève, Rosé Hand Harvest

 

The Team, Hand Harvest Rosé

 

Harvesting for the Rosé - Henri kicks up his heels because the wine will make you feel like this!

Harvesting for the Rosé – Henri kicks up his heels because the wine will make you feel like this!

 

Carol and Julien celebrate – the last row!

 

La Domaine du Petit Roque is a 100-acre estate, bordered on the north by the Dordogne River and by the Durèze stream on the east.   La Tourbeille vineyard crowns the hilltop.

Domaine du Petit Roque on the hilltop above the Dordogne River

Our home, the house at “Stone’s Edge” is an 18th century farmhouse on the edge of a cliff over looking the Dordogne valley.  On this same cliff is perched our guest house, the “Maison du Petit Roque,”  with wonderful views of river, valley and open sky.

Guest Cottage on hilltop with cliff and valley below

Guest Cottage on hilltop with cliff and valley below

The limestone cliffs are lined with pre-historic caves and mature oak forests.  Cows and horses graze the prairies below.  Woods and brambles provide home to deer, wild boar, rabbits, badgers, fox, weasels, an occasional stray pheasant or partridge and a healthy population of birds.

one of the caves in the limestone cliff under the vineyard

prehistoric cave in the flint-limstone cliff under the vineyard

 

one of the Petit Roque prairies, cows and horses grazing

one of the Petit Roque prairies

Over the past years we have renovated the fruit orchard and replanted trees throughout the property. We try to propagate indigenous varieties through grafting as well as planting.  At last count, over 80 fruit and nut trees – apple, pear, peach, persimmon, pomegranate, fig, quince, walnut, hazelnut, almond, arbousier, raspberry, cassis, red currant… (A feast for summer tartes and jams.)

Henri & John planting persimmons along the oak ridge

Henri & John planting persimmons along the oak ridge

 

blackberries from the brambles, summer tarte with creme patissière

blackberries from the brambles, summer tarte with creme patissière

The base for our vegetable plantations are the prairies, fertilized only by grazing cows and horses for decades.  Here we are applying principles of permaculture, where the first focus is advanced soil preparation.

preparing a prairie for vegetable plantations, permaculture principles

preparing a prairie for vegetable plantations, permaculture principles

 

All over Petit Roque – vineyard, prairies, hilltops, valleys…  wildflowers abound.

the view of Gensac church spire - from one hilltop to another

the view of Gensac church spire – from one hilltop to another

 

one daisy, one resting insect, one lively prairie

one daisy, one resting insect, one of the lively prairies

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