This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2021-12-19-at-5.43.43-PM-1024x691.jpg


In 2017 Michel Puzio purchased Château le Valladoux in the Perigord region of southern France. He soon began producing wine under the label Domaine de L’Écrivain.

Château le Valladoux, Perigord

The French word ‘Ecrivain’ means writer, and the estate is named after former owner Pierre Loti—a writer, artist and ethnographer who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century and traveled the world (including to Turkey, Tahiti, Algeria and Morocco).

The two hectare (five acre) estate is located less than a half hour from the town of Saint-Émilion in Bordeaux.

Together with his son Laurent and with the assistance of Julien Pouplet, Michel now produces a Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend. I was recently invited to lunch in this region of France which is renowned for duck, hazelnuts and truffle mushrooms.

Barrel room at Domaine de l’Écrivain
2nd, 3rd and 4th from the left: Laurent Puzio, Julien Pouplet, Michel Puzio.

1. CHEF.

Michel Puzio established and previously owned the wine estate Croix de Labrie in Saint-Émilion (which is now owned by Axelle and Pierre Courdurié), which he sold to the current owners in 2013.

Michel’s collection of books on truffles is extensive. He sources these fungi from a friend in the Perigord. The lunch we had marked the last moment of the season when these truffles were still available.

Michel pouring cognac
Truffle books in the dining room of the château
Now that’s a truffle
From the earth


Amuse-Bouches –

We began with sliced truffles on toast, together with Louis Roederer Champagne.

Sliced truffles on toast

First Dish & Wine

Next, truffles on foie gras, together with 2019 (as yet unlabeled) Domaine de l’Écrivain.

Truffle on foie gras

Second Dish & Wine

Next, truffle omelet, paired with 2019 and 2018 Domaine de l’Écrivain.

The omelet was delicious, and these vintages are beautiful. Ripe and rich red and black fruit, cocoa and red cherries in the mouth, a lush and silky 55/45 Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend. You could taste these wines this blind, and mistake them as coming from Saint-Émilion, or Pomerol.

Truffle omelet – Michel’s special recipe
Domaine de l’Écrivain

Cheese & Wine

Brillat-Savarin is a soft creamy cow cheese produced in the Burgundy region, and named after a renowned epicurean. This disc was sliced horizontally, and a layer of truffles was inserted inside.

Creamiest cheese

This cheese was paired with 2009 Croix de Labrie from Saint-Émilion.

Château Croix de Labrie – Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, 2009

Dessert & Wine

Meringue tart, paired with more of the same red wine, as well as Maison Bache-Gabrielsen cognac.

Meringue dessert
Rich cognac


I was supposed to arrive at noon for lunch, but had completely forgotten about the event which Julien had notified me about weeks earlier. He phoned to ask where I was. Surprised, I apologized for having forgotten. I said it would take an hour and a half for me to drive there. He assured me that they would wait, and in the meantime would open some bottles of wine. Such patience and hospitality was magnificent! I am delighted to have enjoyed this lunch with a wonderful group that included sommeliers and winemakers and individuals who love good food, good wine, travel and reading.

Perigord may be renowned for food, but also produces some superb wines.

Lunch is served, even when you arrive almost two hours late

Thanks for tuning in again, and welcome to 2022!

Please check out my new professional Instagram site: VinoVoices.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I like the “Pour and Explore” motif.
    As always – great photos-! Thanks – for a trip to another (truffle) world.

    1. Glad you enjoyed!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu