Alone on a hilltop in the southern reaches of the Touraine appellation, outside of the town of Richelieu, resides the small Domaine de la Garrelière.
The winery occupies an old bank barn, a long, rectangular stone building that was built into the hillside. You enter on the uphill side on the second level, and exit on the downhill side on the lower level. The uphill side faces the Plouzeau’s household and between them is a small courtyard. This is the playground of a flock of chickens, Hulot the giant dog and a young cat, while continually flying in and out of the barn are swallows that nest in the rafters.
The original 19th century screw press still exists on that second level, built into the floor with gutters to direct the grape juice into bygone fermenters on the level below. On that lower level, burrowing into the hillside and predating the current structure by several centuries, is a stone cellar built in 1645. It’s little more than a long narrow corridor, and in its rear is where the domaine ages wine in barrel.