The Château du Rivau is between Chinon and Richelieu, and of all the gardens we visited in our whirlwind week of garden touring in mid-July, I think this one was my favourite.
It was originally recommended to us by our friend 'Henri Proust', who writes the blog for l'Eminence Rouge. The website, slightly irritating Disneyesque fairies bouncing across the page notwithstanding, is informative and well laid out, and HP assured us some time ago that the garden had some interesting design elements.
Last year the château suffered a devastating fire in the roof of the private apartments. None of the rooms on show were damaged, but the family lost quite a lot of personal possessions I think. I read an interview in the paper with Patricia Laigneau the owner and thought she was remarkable. The award winning château restoration had been finished only weeks before. It had been years of hard work, creative thinking and pouring money at the place. It must have been heartbreaking to see it go up in flames, but Patricia put the most incredibly brave face on it. She encouraged visitors to continue to come and just stoïcly prepared to repair the roof.