Domaine La Tour Beaumont
Far to the south of Chinon and Bourgueil, way beyond the southernmost tip of the generic Touraine appellation, lie the vineyards of Haut-Poitou. These long-established vineyards can be found planted on a plateau of limestone and clay, not an unfamiliar landscape for any drinker of Vouvray, Chinon or Saumur (or St Emilion for that matter), which is situated to the north of the town of Poitiers.
The vineyards are reputed to have been planted by the region’s Gallo-Roman inhabitants, but this remarkable heritage wasn’t enough to assuage the almost inevitable decline of the 20th century. Choosing to replant with American varieties rather than grafting onto their phylloxera-resistant rootstocks, the abandoning of the vineyards by a populace decimated by World War I and increased competition from a global wine industry all only served to compound this dwindling. It has only been in more recent times, following the creation of the cave cooperative in 1948, that the region has experienced what might be called a renaissance. This recovery led to the region being elevated to vin délimité de qualité supérieure in 1970, and ultimately the granting of appellation contrôlée status in 2011.
One domaine that has been riding high as part of this renaissance is Domaine La Tour Beaumont, an estate run by the one family for five generations. The incumbent is Pierre Morgeau (pictured above), a young vigneron determined to put the domaine, and the region, back on the map.