The 16 hectares of the Domaine des Echardières lie on the left bank of the river Cher quite close to the famous renaissance château of Chenonceaux. Owner Luc Poullain bought the domaine as a going concern in 2000, when he was 30 years old and not long after returning from studying agricultural engineering in England and taking on a career selling chemicals to wine growers. He is now the president of the recently created Touraine Chenonceaux appellation for red and white wines.
Indeed his vineyards are split almost evenly between cabernet franc gamay, and malbec (here called côt) for the reds and sauvignon blanc for the whites, and he makes wines under the new appellation as well as the wider Touraine AC. The soils are varied but with the common theme of limestone with some flint running throughout, on well-oriented slopes. The sauvignon is grown exclusively on flinty, chalky clays, giving the resultant wines an extra aromatic dimension and minerality.
The sites for reds need to be in excellent spots in order that the malbec consistently reaches proper maturity and the valley of the Cher, with a slightly warmer microclimate than some parts of Touraine, provides such conditions with the desired regularity.
Luc's philosophy is one of sustainability, working happily within the environmentally friendly guidelines of the Terravitis movement, and employing a nicely poised balance between traditional methods and modern practices such as thermo-regulated stainless-steel vats.