Domaine aux Moines
Owner & winemaker: Tessa Laroche
Vineyards: 12ha, all estate-owned
Vineyard management: Certified organic, with biodynamic practices
Soils: Volcanic rock and sandy schist
Grapes grown: Chenin Blanc
Annual production: 40,000 bottles
- The winery has been run by women for two generations now.
- The estate dates back to the 12th century, when it was founded by monks.
- The “Berceau des Fées” cuvée is named after an unusual copse of trees on the estate–in English, the “birthplace of fairies.”
The Domaine aux Moines is located in the village of Savennières, which is found on the right bank of the Loire River, 15km southwest of Angers. The name translates to “the Domaine of the Monks,” because the vineyards were first planted by monks in the 12th century. In 1793, after the French Revolution, the domaine was sold off, and went through various owners before being purchased by the Laroche family in 1981. Monique Laroche ran the property until her daughter Tessa took the reins in 2003. Working with a young, dynamic, and passionate team, she began the conversion to organic farming in 2006.
All 12ha of their vineyards are located in the Roche-aux-Moines AOC, considered a “grand cru” of Savennières. Its volcanic soils, south/southwest exposure, and mild climate (thanks to its proximity to the Loire) combine to create ideal conditions for producing elegant and distinctive wines. Farming is certified organic, incorporating some biodynamic practices as well. They harvest all of their fruit by hand, and in multiple passes to obtain the ripest and healthiest fruit–in 2021, they harvested three separate times.