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