There is nothing better than drinking good wine: especially if the wine comes from vines that you own yourself, at a small British-owned and family-run vineyard, in a picturesque corner of South West France. We moved to the Domaine in 1994, buying a fivehectare vineyard along with 30 hectares of cereal land, close to the beautiful hilltop village of Puylaroque. We have planted a further three hectares since and now live in a farmhouse surrounded by vines - with our two children, Zachary and Sophie-Tor, and our dog Patapouf, the original Merchien. We include many organic principles and aim to produce wine as naturally as possible. We only make 25,000 bottles a year, harvesting half our grapes by hand and aiming for quality not quantity. We’ve also been herbicide-free since 1996 and operate a ‘minimal chemical policy’ throughout the vineyard. At Domaine du Merchien everything is done with patience, enthusiasm and, most of all, respect for local tradition.
becoming a partner in wine
Owning a row of vines is a bit like owning your own little bit of France, but with the added bonus of knowing where the wine comes from. You have met the winemakers and maybe picked the grapes! It’s time for you to enjoy the benefits of our Partner in Wine scheme, which we have been running successfully for over 10 years now.
your link to our vineyard
Some wine partnering schemes link you to large vineyards which lack a personal touch. Making Merchien wines has been our life for over 15 years. We tend and harvest the vines, and then produce and bottle the wine ourselves. Some people say they can actually taste the passion we put into the wine. It’s that together with the distinctive taste of the local grape varieties, and the great value of Merchien wine, that keep our loyal Partners coming back year after year.
Becoming a Partner means you commit to renting a row of vines for an initial period of two years. In return you are entitled to buy 10 cases at a special ‘Partner’ rate which when taken together with the rental cost is some 20% below the retail price.
choosing your wine
Merchien is best known for its award winning Quercy and Lot reds. There’s a limited supply of rosé and ‘hint of pink,’ a white wine from red grapes too. More often than not, we have a choice of vintages available, depending on current stock levels. So, you can mix your allocation up as you want - it’s easiest to decide if you come to the vineyard to taste them all!
collecting your wine
You can collect your wine from us at any time, avoiding any shipping costs (although we’ll need a little advanced warning please). For a small additional charge you can still escape duty costs by arranging to collect your wine from Calais or any other French port, city or town on the French Railway network. We can also arrange to ship the wine to you in the UK, but you will then pay duty in addition to the packaging and shipping costs.
other partner benefits
We would be delighted to show you round the vineyard when you are in the area. You can rub the soil between your fingers and feel the sun on your face as it ripens your grapes. We’ll show you how we make the wine and give you a private, tutored tasting. There is also an open invitation to all our Partners to help during the vendage, so you can come and pick your own grapes. Year round, we will keep you up to date with everything that’s going on at the vineyard through our email updates, website and the blog. The longer you’re a Partner, the closer you feel to the vineyard and your vine.