The noble dwelling of Saint Bris
A remarkable architecture in Saintonge
The Saint Bris des Bois dwelling opens onto an enormous square courtyard surrounded by walls and communal areas. Remarkable heritage of the Saintonge, this seigniorial Logis preserves the attributes of the nobility
of its origins.
You enter through a beautiful covered doorway, accompanied by a pedestrian door with pilasters and semi-circular pediment cut, surmounted by balls. The whole is surmounted by a series of Baroque late merlons of good quality.
The dwelling itself is a low building developing on 47m, pierced with wide openings. The front door is central. It opens on a large room which distributes on both sides of the rooms to the important volumes. The openings on the south facade facing the courtyard are reproduced symmetrically on the north façade so that the rooms are illuminated on each side.
This dwelling is flanked on these East and West sides of two low flats at two levels.
The dwelling of Saint Bris des Bois is part of the residences of characters noticed by many authors on the patrimony of Saintonge and Charente Maritime
The seigniorial dweling over the centuries
Amongst others, the property of the Logis de Saint Bris des Bois, which has always preserved its wooded lands and forests, lost its character as a fine dwelling. It preserved a great majesty by its site and its environment.
Its location on the heights of Saint Bris des Bois, near the church and its majestic portal recalls its past nobiliary as well as the antiquity of the site as a manorial residence.
My great-grandfather, Paul Boutinet, will inherit it around 1900 but for 100 years, relegated to an operating or partially inhabited building, the house has lost a lot of its superb and it no longer offers the comfort sought at that time. His wife Celeste would prefer to set up his family at the Brissonneau, about twenty kilometers from where Bernard Boutinet, my father, still lives, which manages the family production of Cognacs and Pineau des Charentes.
The Logis will then continue its farming life without transformation or development throughout the 20th century.
Back on the home soil
As you can see, the Logis de l’Astrée was not my home of childhood. Although this property has always been part of my immediate surroundings, through the days we spend with my grandmother and my father to monitor the crops, to rehabilitate a building in great difficulty, and for a while to feed a few sheep to whom we had entrusted the fight against the grassy invasion of the court, we never stayed there, the house being absolutely uninhabitable and rather open “to the four winds” …
Engineer Agronomist and Oenologist of formation, my professional life is turned towards the vine and the vineyards. A few months in Sonoma Valley (California, USA), then in the Pyrenees Ranges in Australia, different experiences in the Charente, Charente Maritime, Côtes du Rhône, West Bank have made me know other horizons and already understand the world wine culture, the peculiar connection maintained between the western civilization and the vine and its fruit.
It is in Gascony in the vineyards of Madiran and Côtes de Saint Mont that my two passions are actually joining that it is the vine and the old stones with a binder that I discovered then in me, a special taste and ease to share my experiences, and pass them on. I am then in charge of setting up the reception by the winegrowers of Caves de Prodcutteurs Plaimont, on their soil. With this dynamic cellar, an innovative and resourceful management team, I discover that wanting to lead to power. Many projects are emerging and it is time for great, exciting encounters, immersion in the Gascon culture fascinating by its integrity and its propensity to spread.
Life will however bring me back to the Charentes, or more exactly in Saintonge and it is in 2000 that I decide to realize what I had until now only accompanied in others. Considered and prepared for more than a year I take charge of the “old Logis” under the brambles as well as the adjoining lands. I then replant a vineyard for Vin de Pays and selected three grape varieties that I particularly appreciate and that have already proved themselves in this Atlantic region: Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon.
Following in 2002, the restoration of the main Logis in Bed and Breakfast, in 2004, the development of the Petite Maison, and the swimming pool, and in 2008, the transformation of the south buildings into a gîte for a family and handicapped persons , the Maison des Chênes. Since the restoration of such a complex is never completed, the installations follow each other from year to year