Terra Vita Vinum
There are many domaines in the Loire Valley that have changed hands since I first visited the region (which, to be fair, was quite a while ago – last century, in truth). Some have been sold, some have passed from father to son (or mother to daughter, and any other combination you might fancy) and some have transitioned in a more organic fashion, a proprietor with no heirs taking on one or two associates to learn the ropes before they wind-down to a much anticipated retirement.
One domaine that followed this latter path has been Domaine Richou. The existence of this family domaine was the doing of Henri Richou, who oversaw its transition from polycultural smallholding to vineyard during the middle years of the 20th century. With time Henri’s sons would join him in his venture; Didier Richou began working alongside his father in 1979, and some years later, in 1993 to be precise, they were joined by Didier’s younger brother Damien Richou. The team was complete, and with the passing of the years the two brothers settled into a groove, Damien focusing on the viticultural side, while Didier took charge in the cellars.
The system worked well, and eventually their parents retired, responsibility for the running of the domaine having smoothly transitioned to their two sons. The next time, however, things would be a little more complicated.
The brothers continued working in this fashion until 2019 when, at 62 years of age, Didier Richou decided to retire. With no new generation willing to step up and help out, this left his younger brother Damien – who was some years from the point at which he could do the same – in need of some help, without which the future of the domaine was uncertain. Damien began to search for an associate to buy into the domaine. As it turns out, however, he found three. And with their arrival Terra Vita Vinum was born.Please log in to continue reading: