For a hundred and thirty years, the Riboud family has owned a 1300-acre estate, La Carelle, which is fifty-five miles north of Lyons, in the Beaujolais region of France. The fields and woodlands and rolling hills of this estate form a checkerboard of orange and yellow leaves, green pastures, and brown earth. The farmland is rimmed by dirt paths that meander into groves of linden, birch, fir, pine, American red oak, wild cherry, and mountain ash. The estate includes eight farms, each with a simple farmhouse of earth-colored brick, built in the Romanesque style that was popular six centuries ago. La Carelle is the country home of Jean Riboud.
The main house is a twenty-six-room stone structure, also Romanesque in style, shaded by giant ...