On the Saussignac side
Nature and indulgence at Château Feely
Irish by birth, in 2010 Caro and Sean Freely set up home in this green haven where biodiversity reigns and learnt how to become wine-growers, and talented ones at that! The whole range is delicious and based on their decision, right from the start to go organic with their vines and in the winery. Wine-growers, for sure, but not only! To give visitors to real sense of the vines Caro dreamt up a whole range of experiences.
At Feely you can visit and taste the wines depending on your time and motivation (from €10 the guided-tasting of 4 wines) where you can sample various wine and food matches. With hard and semi-hard cheeses (€32) after a short walk around the property, with a full meal if you opt for the whole Wine-growers day (€99) or a half day (€60), or even with the gourmet bites specially created by starred-chef Vincent Lucas for the Feely wines (€40 from Monday to Saturday, 4.30pm to 6.30pm by booking 24 hours ahead).
You can also stay here thanks to the opening of the "écogite" Wine Cottage, awarded the Best of Wine Tourism in 2017, with panoramic views across the vineyards (from €145 per night, €800 per week). Or you might go for a wine-grower's weekend to learn about blending and harvesting, take part in a three day workshop on French wine run by Caro... Feely has plenty to offer.
Château Feely, 24240 Saussignac - +33(0)5 53 22 72 71 or www.chateaufeely.com
On the Monbazillac side
The Château de Monbazillac, co-op property
In these 17th century fortified walls that belong to the Famous sites of the Périgord, you'll be taken back in time to admire the Monbazillac vineyard at its height. Since 1960, the Monbazillace co-op cellar has been the owner, working to keep it open to the public and proposing various thematic areas explaining the lives of illustrious local characters or dedicated to contemporary art. The highlight: the old kitchens now occupied by hundreds of bottles of Monbazillac projecting myriad shades of gold onto the old stones.
A small wine museum explains the production of a sweet Monbazillac and the different stages of the famous botrytis in several languages. The visit ends with a wine tasting session in the cellar (€7.50 the visit), with a preference for the Château Septy vintage 2011 (€11.90), a resfreshing little gem of candied fruits (apricot, pineapple).
During the summer co-op wine-growers organise vineyard walks, cinema screenings in the courtyard and even workshops for kids to help them discover the winemaking profession in a fun way (every Tuesday and Thursday). And the château is open every day, all year round!
Château de Monbazillac, 24240 Monbazillac, +33(0)5 53 63 65 00 or www.chateau-monbazillac.com