Domaine de L'Ancienne Cure (Christian Roche)
Both the town and appellation of Bergerac lie in the centre of the Dordogne department with its beautiful landscape of rolling hills and burgeoning population of expatriate Brits. It is also home to some of France's oldest vineyards producing inexpensive dry, white wines predominantly for local consumption, and to the south of the town of Bergerac itself lies the smaller and more specialized sweet wine producing appellation of Monbazillac. It is in the Monbazillac area of production that the Roche family's Domaine de L'Ancienne Cure is to be found.
The reputation of the domaine was built up over decades by organic pioneer Christian Roche. Since his sad passing in late 2021 after a long illness, his wife Nathalie and daughter Julie are settling into his shoes, ably helped by Julie's partner who owns the neighbouring château. First and foremost a Monbazillac producer, the family have proved to be equally capable of making classy, dry white wines from the same mix of grapes – Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle alongside a suite of Merlot-based reds and 'no added sulphites' wines under various AOPs. Their vine holdings total 40 hectares, which is large for an independent producer, and 15 hectares of this land lie within the hallowed perimeter of Monbazillac.