Although the current CEO is the tenth generation winegrower, Domaine d'Orfeuille has only existed for a relatively short time. Great-grandfather planted 2 hectares of vineyard at the beginning of the 20th century. Shortly after the Second World War, in 1946, he was succeeded by his son, who planted another four hectares. In turn, he passed the baton in 1983 to the father of the current owner, Arnaud Herivault, who has been in charge since 2000.
D'Orfeuille owes its name to a former castle a stone's throw from the domain. Francois the 1st's personal physician lived here. It's a beautiful part of France. Sloping and green. It is not without reason that so many wealthy people settled in this valley. The grand castles are truly unique and testify to the almost unlimited wealth of the owners.
Arnaud studied viticulture in Amboise and later also the more financial side of the wine world in Libourne. When he took over the domain in 2000, there were 15 hectares, now there are 21, of the total of 2,400 hectares within the Appellation. There is a nice division between the lots, which are all within a radius of 1500 meters around the basement. The soils are coarse gravel, calcareous clay and the famous flint, called "Silex" in France.
It is only a small company, about 70,000 to 80,000 bottles of the finest juice are bottled every year. The rest of the production goes unnamed to the bulk trade. In 2010, Arnaud was at a meeting where he heard that viticulture accounts for only 7% of all French agriculture and horticulture. But these 7% consume an overwhelming 30% of all chemical pesticides. He decided that the other had to and started working with "poison free". The first organically certified wines were made in 2014. In 2016 he started to renovate all plots according to the bio-dynamic teaching suggested by Rudolph Steiner.
The wines vary from wafer-dry to civilized sweet. For their demi sec version "Les Coudraies" he recently received a "platinum award" in London. The dry wines are beautiful, fresh, school and elegant. The Silex variety gets a short period of barrel ripening.