A little (his)tory


Anyone would think the Domaine de Labarthe had always been here, in this gentle Reignac Valley – named after the stream that runs along it.

Extract from: Archéologie du bâti du Domaine de Labarthe par C. Bourrières – 2019:

The name Labarthe comes from the Occitan word ‘bartas’, meaning a place covered with undergrowth, brambles and other wild plants. It shows that this rich land along the Reignac stream was left to run wild for a time, and reclaimed by nature. One of the historical reasons for this was the Hundred Years War, which caused huge losses in the 15th century. Quercy suffered heavily, and numerous towns were deserted.

The history of the estate dates back to the 16th century. It was then a smallholding owned by a city dweller, who profited remotely from the land by renting it to a tenant farmer. It comprised arable lands, fields and gardens, and farm buildings, and produced mainly food crops. All that is left today is the eastern house with its long vaulted cellar and the two-storey Auvergne-style barn, whose lower level housed the animals and upper level was a huge hayloft.

In 1736, the smallholding fell into the hands of a merchant, Pierre Valet, and was quickly absorbed into an ambitious plan for the sale of wine produced on the estate and intended for the Bordeaux market. To this end, in the 1750s large quantities of vines from Auxerre were planted there, and a huge 40m wine storehouse was installed, set at right angles on the northern edge of the barn. This almost doubled the length of the barn and, from one end to the other, probably contained all the equipment necessary for wine production.

Pierre Valet’s contacts with his counterparts in the Bordeaux wine trade point to the origin of a building that is a fairly rare and remarkable sight in Quercy: the charter house. Inspired by similar buildings in Aquitaine, it borrowed some of the notions of comfort and communion with nature in their country surroundings: one living floor, numerous windows letting in plenty of light and facilitating circulation, easy access up a few steps from the courtyard, and on a level with the garden. The oblong edifice was built at right angles to one end of the old preserved house. To add harmony, arched windows were put in the upper floor topped with skylights in the attics. The resulting spans repeat the regularly-spaced arches of the charter house façades. 

The house was built for the comfort of its occupants, but was also designed to be a functional part of the estate, with its vaulted cellar for storing wine, and one of its buildings providing a home for pigeons (who were useful helpers in the vineyards). Its oblong layout ends in a square pavilion to the west. Pigeons lived in the upper part, as shown by the stone ledge (or randière) around the tower to prevent rodents from getting to the nests.

A second pavilion, symmetrical with the first, would normally have stood at the other end of the charter house, which today is occupied by an upper terrace. The presence of stones sticking out of the wall of the old house indicates that this was probably planned but never completed. 



The estate, with its wines, tobacco fields and walnut groves was farmed until the 1950s.
Today, although much smaller, the estate continues to cultivate walnuts: we have 7 hectares on which we grow the Franquette variety.

Wine, the current owners’ business and also passion, is closely linked to the estate, with a Malbec wine called ‘Canonicat de Labarthe’.


Labarthe, an elegant family home and guesthouse
has welcomed visitors from all over the world for some thirty years.

The Tour d'Issandre

To the south, facing the olive grove, the elegant little tower with its four-sided roof typical of the region, marks the corner of the former flower garden. It was named after the old mill at the bottom of the estate by the monks, who used it as an oratory. Today it houses a small well-being centre.

The ancient barn

The huge barn (180 sq. m.) is one of the major historic outbuildings of the Domaine de Labarthe. It was mentioned as far back as the late 16th century. Designed as a stable barn in the Auvergne style, it used to have two levels: the ground floor housed the animals and the huge loft above could hold vast quantities of hay. It is now restored and used for receptions.