La Géographie

The Deux Sevres occupies the north western quarter of the Poitou Charentes region, bordering the Vendee (Pays de la Loire) to the west, Charente Maritime to the south, and Vienne to the east.  To the north is the department of Maine et Loire (Pays de le Loire).Measured North to South the department is a maximum of 125km long, and between 45km and 70km wide, and covering a surface area of 5,999km2. The department is organized into 3 administrative areas, Bressuire to the North, Parthenay to the Centre and Niort to the South.The Deux Sevres comprises four varied natural terrains, La Bocage in the North West (fruit growing area with a dispersed habitation), Gatine in the centre (environment similar to La Bocage, cattle breeding), the Plains in the North West and South (flat terrain for cereal and vines), and the Marais Poitevin in the South West (land reclaimed from the sea by monks, and latterly Dutch engineers).

The Gatine is a small, “different” area. It is an area where no vines are cultivated and where, two hundred years ago, it was nigh on impossible to grow proper wheat for bread. Bread was made from rye or buckwheat.

The Gatine has abundant grass, hedgerows, woods, water souces, streams and lakes. It has a long established reputation for cattle and sheep rearing. It is also rich in fruit trees, vegetables…which meant that the people of the area were able to be far more self sufficient than those of the plains. This, plus the complete lack of passable roads in the area, contributed to its uniqueness and it’s relative privacy.

The area encompassed by L’Absie, Secondigny, Fenioux and Scille is known locally as “la Petit Suisse” which gives you a good idea as to the nature of the countryside, no mountains but plenty of hills and valleys.

Naturally the Gatine area where La Menantelierre is located represents, in our opinion, the best countryside in the department with rolling hills and stunning valleys interspersed with forests and lakes.

La Menantelierre sits 179 Metres above sea level, l’Hummeau which is just off the main road running to L’Absie sits at 262 Metres above sea level and is the highest point in the Gatine.