In Latin means EARTH...: the history of the domain and the presentation of the vineyard.
Created by the Richou family, over the generations, the Domaine Richou has constantly improved its quality level both in the vineyard and in the cellar, to become one of the most important in Anjou.
In 2009, the domaine converted to organic farming to rapidly increase the level of restitution of the terroir. The Richou style has undoubtedly contributed to the notoriety of the Loire appellations of Anjou Noir.
In 2019, Bénédicte Petit, Luc Briand and Christophe Aubineau, three passionate neo-winemakers took over the domaine. Their respective backgrounds have never taken them away from the land or the vines. Accompanied by a team of 6 permanent staff, who have been working on the domaine for several years, they will build on the solid assets of the domaine to continue to develop it towards even greater quality and precision.
In 2020, the domaine will formalize its transition to biodynamics. More than a change in cultural fashion, it is a real cultural mutation around the EARTH, LIFE and WINE. To illustrate this major evolution, the domaine has decided to adopt a name and logo that reflect these strong values : TERRA VITA VINUM, while retaining the signature of the Richou domaine.
Issu d’une famille de vignerons de Saint Lambert du Lattay, je suis d’un naturel convivial, passionné de vins bien sûr mais aussi de cuisine, de photo, de voyages, d’échanges… Mais je suis devenu vigneron surtout parce que je suis curieux. Depuis trente ans que je goûte des vins, quand je tombe sur une "vibration", je cherche à comprendre d'où ça vient... Au fil des ans en cotoyant les vignerons, j’ai aussi acquis la conviction qu'il était possible conjuguer la précision de
The domaine is rather well diversified geographically and is structured around « seven different terroirs » :
This diversification makes it possible to distribute the climatic hazards but also to multiply the mineral expressions of the geological characteristics of each of these seven parcels.
The vineyard, with a surface area of about thirty hectares, is located in the part of the Anjou Noir region of the Loire Valley, south of Angers. Unlike the Saumur region known as the white Anjou and characterized by its limestone soils which correspond to the Parisian basin, the Anjou noir with its dark rocks (schists, gneiss, rhyolites and granite), corresponds to the Armorican massif. And it is precisely this characteristic that gives wines a pronounced and unique character. The Anjou noir is a shale land. Fabrice Redois, geologist, lecturer at the UFR Sciences, University of Angers, explains that the Anjou Noir is « a geological unit composed mainly of rocks that have been subjected to constraints (folds, faults, magmatic intrusions, metamorphism) related to orogenesis (mountain range formation) ».
On the wine-growing soils of the Anjou Noir, there is therefore a predominance of schists (sandstone to sandstone schists, purple schist sometimes sandstone, green-grey schist...), but also different volcanic rocks (rhyolites, spilites, phtanites,...). In 50 metres, you can travel a million years ! The diversity of the terroirs is also due to surface formations, such as wind sands or colluvium. To this can be added the influence of the Loire and its tributaries, the presence of hillsides in Anjou which are found to be adapted to the cultivation of vines, as well as the angevin microclimate - this is not a legend since it records one of the lowest rainfall rates in the Loire Valley.
Thus, the king of Angevin grape variety, chenin, feels very comfortable on the terroirs of the Anjou Noir. We have everything we need to have quality wines : the suitability of the grape variety and the soil between the chenin and the schist, the limited yields, the quality monitoring... Organic wines are not in the standard of varietal wines, we are on wines from the soil. These are lands that warm up easily, From a micro-climatic point of view, they are particularly suitable for a good maturity of Chenin, which is a late variety. The schist brings something special to the mouth, a unique style.