Best adresses of Caro Feely, Château Feely
Caro Feely, winemaker in Périgord
Both Caro and Sean are from South Africa and moved to work in Dublin, Ireland. Already, in South Africa they were looking to settle as winemakers (editor’s note: Sean’s grandfather was a winemaker in the Stellenbosch vineyard next to Cape Town in South Africa) but it was in France during a holiday trip in 1998 that they fell in love with the place. They started planning their adventure in France and bought this old farm in 2005. After 3 years of research and administrative paperwork from which they came out really well, the dream of becoming a winemaker has finally begun… Certified organic vineyard in 2008, biodynamic in 2011 the road is launched and everything succeeds to this South African couple.
The wines of the estate are in Vin de France and located in the Bergerac appellation of 13,000ha. The vines are located on the south-western slopes of Bergerac near the Montbazillac appellation and are planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon varieties…
The lodges (wine lodge and wine cottage) have come out of the ground (old cottage house from 1737 and Lodge from 1910 – completely renovated in 2016 and 2011 respectively) with views of the vineyards and the surrounding Dordogne valley. A few minutes walk from the village of Saussignac and 20 minutes by car from the town of Bergerac, it is good to live here and the local gastronomy is generous, rich and diverse. Of course because of their nationality, Caro and Sean welcome many visitors mostly English-speaking couples but also more and more French people wanting to rest, to breathe widely and to taste their wines.
My favorite markets by Caro Feely
I really like the Bergerac market in the old town on Saturday morning, it’s really charming and many organic producers offer their specialties. We find the goat cheese type Cujassou and Cabécou du Périgord which are specialties of our own, and the nut bread which is super good from the Ferme de la Coutaude. To taste with our cuvée Silex 100% Sémillon whose old vines (80 years!!) are located in hillsides, it is the wine that pleases the most at the estate when tasting comes.
We also find the Strawberries of Périgord well known to amateurs because they have a IGP (Protected Geographical Indication).
Finally, there is the Issigeac and Gardonne market on Sundays. The latter is a very small market but 5 minutes away so I recommend it to those in a hurry. The products of the Bergerac market are really of very good quality and a good organic choice, I include them in the meals food-wine pairing that I organize at the estate: fresh products like smoked trout, cheese from the region and the famous nut bread. I can also offer our visitors picnic baskets with these same products and one of our wines according to their preference.”
My favorite events by Caro Feely
“In May, the Jazz & Sauvignac festival is held in Saussignac, a jazz music festival where the winemakers of Bergerac, also known as the winemakers of the hillsides, gather to taste their wines. From the same organizers, the Ploucs Festival takes place in July. It is a festival that wants to be eco-responsible programming artists with eclectic music, we always spend a good time. For each the union of the wines of Saussignac is present and active.”
My favorite places by Caro Feely
When you come here you have to go and see the magnificent prehistoric caves of Lascaux, a marvel painted about 20,000 years ago also called the «Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art». You will also have the opportunity to walk by foot from the estate, I propose guided hikes to make you discover the surroundings or going further, you can spend a day discovering the castles at the top of the perched villages in the heart of Dordogne. In Beynac, you can visit the castle where Richard Lionheart lived almost his entire adult life and the magnificent Marqueyssac Gardens.
Finally I will recommend the castle of Monbazillac about 20 minutes away by car where you can go and see a friend winemaker La Maison Vari who works also organic and where you can taste wines and charcuteries on a plancha!
Text : Bacchus. Pictures : Château Feely