In the Heart of Provence
Located in the heart of the Var hinterland, just a stone's throw from the Cistercian Abbey of Thoronet, the vineyard of Saint-Louis La Manuelle now extends over 50 hectares of vineyards, in a millennium-old Provencal landscape of absolute tranquility. This ideal location, at the crossroads between Lake Carcès and the Thoronet Abbey, brings joy to hikers, cyclists, and history enthusiasts.
The terroir, with its nuances and contrasts, and the Mediterranean sun infuse the vines throughout the summer, contributing to the birth of a wine of great richness. A true invitation to travel and discover the scents of Provence. But also an invitation to laziness and the sweetness of life in this region where everything is an experience for those who know how to open their senses.
The pure lines of a cypress-lined alley invite you to enter. In the distance, nestled on the hillside, the bastide of the estate welcomes you, massive and elegant at the same time, reassuring and soothing. You have arrived. Saint Louis La Manuelle envelops you with its valleys, woods, and vineyards, its endless olive trees... Here, time stands still. Treat yourself to a break in Provencal land, far from the bustling pace of our century. Settle on the terrace facing the sun and breathe.
A place steeped in history
The Saint-Louis du Thoronet estate owes its name to the nearby Cistercian Abbey, built between 1160 and 1230. This abbey, a jewel of Romanesque art, is one of the three Cistercian abbeys in Provence, along with Silvacane and Sénanque. It serves as an example for contemporary architecture due to the purity and simplicity of its volumes. Saint-Louis is believed to be the name of a Cistercian monk who once lived in the abbey. The vineyards of the estate are planted on the ancient lands of the abbey.
BETWEEN CHANCE AND PASSION
Until the late 2000s, the estate, known as Domaine du Lac, was well-maintained, and its vines produced quality wine. Left abandoned since then, it came back to life in 2017 thanks to the passion of one man. While exploring the surroundings, the current owner – a connoisseur of fine wines – serendipitously discovered the neglected estate. He instantly fell in love with the abandoned vineyards, the secluded Bastide on its promontory, the lively landscape of pine and yew trees, and promptly purchased this magnificent site, embarking on its meticulous restoration.
Thus, with his wife taking charge of the estate, the Bastide was renovated, the terraced fields were reconstructed using ancient dry stone wall techniques, the yew trees and gardens were trimmed, the wine cellar equipped, and the cellar rehabilitated. Simultaneously, he endeavored to care for this green haven with respect for the land and nature, using common sense. A man of the soil, who loves the land and understands the vine; he set out to revive it to create an exceptional wine.
In Harmony with Nature
The new owner, upon acquiring the property, immediately set out to care for and prune the neglected vines. To their astonishment, they discovered the richness of the grape varieties, with ancient Carignan and Uniblanc vines dating back to the years 1945-1950. Grenaches, Syrahs, Rolle... After several months of clearing, they counted 625 olive trees, some of which are centuries-old, and discovered that the estate includes a forest and vibrant lands inhabited by cicadas, ladybugs, grasshoppers, hares, wild boars, deer, etc... A preserved place that they are determined to protect. They implemented a sustainable approach, including soil work to plow and aerate, loosen the soil, remove weeds and roots, and mechanically cut grass between the vine rows. This quickly led to the complete cessation of herbicide use. The predominantly clay-limestone soils, with occasional traces of bauxite giving them a red hue in some places, are enriched with organic matter certified as organic. It's a daily task that requires time, regularity, and discipline. But today, just three years after taking over the estate, Saint-Louis La Manuelle shines, and the vineyard promises flavorful wines, especially an exceptional red wine for a Côtes de Provence.
LA MANUELLE: OUR PRIZED PARCEL.
Nestled in one of the most beautiful locations in the Var hinterland, La Manuelle has always been an ideal land for wine. In the Middle Ages, the monks of the Bethlehem Monastery, located nearby, cultivated a vine renowned for its nectar. Today, this exceptional vineyard is part of the Saint-Louis du Thoronet estate, and the former appellation of Saint-Croix La Manuelle has become Saint-Louis La Manuelle.
As the flagship parcel of our estate, La Manuelle is situated on the lands of the Thoronet Abbey and spans 13 hectares in a magnificent landscape of eternal Provence. Here, the terroir provides an ideal setting for grapes to thrive peacefully amid pine trees and olive groves. The Mediterranean soils, rich in clay, limestone, and sandstone, form a perfect cradle for the vine. The climate, subject to significant temperature variations between day and night, allows the berries to ripen slowly and steadily. It is partly this late maturity that gives rise to our exceptional white wines.
At the heart of the La Manuelle estate, a warm wine cellar awaits you, inviting you to explore the vineyard and its soils. An ampelographic initiation, from the Greek “Ampelos,” meaning vine, reveals everything about our grape varieties and terroirs.
Suivez toute notre actualité sur Facebook et Instagram