Domaine de Bablut
The town of Brissac-Quincé is not one the Loire Valley’s most famous. It is too easily overshadowed by Saumur, which lies just a few kilometres upstream, and of course by Angers, a university city, which sits on the opposite bank of the river. This is despite the town having a very impressive château, the tallest in all France, with at least (if my window-counting is to be trusted) seven floors. Its huge stone towers topped off with towering brick-built chimneys loom over the rooftops of the town and the Aubance, which makes a deep loop around the château before continuing its meandering journey westwards towards its rendezvous with Le Louet, a distributary of the Loire.
On the road leading north out of Brissac-Quincé lies Domaine de Bablut. It is not too difficult to spot; as the vineyards first appear on the left-hand side of the road, so too Domaine de Bablut is signposted on the right. The centrepiece of the domaine is an old mill, which sits atop a stone base in the typical Anjou style. Now devoid of a roof, and of sails, it still dominates the driveway and courtyard of the residence, which is home to Christophe Daviau (pictured above). The presence of this old mill, seemingly at the heart of the domaine, is not without historical significance. Windmills play as much a part in the story of this domaine as do vineyards, as I will explore in this profile.