By Lorianne S. Riley
Usually I write about hotels that are built up to LEED standards for this column, but because this Fall Issue is devoted to France and all the wonderful things France has to offer; I must talk about the most memorable, lovely, quaint, sustainable Lodge I stayed in while visiting.
The Lodge is situated on the property of a vineyard and a working winery called Chateau Haut Garriguein that produces the Feely family wines in a small remote village called Saussignac which is located in the Bordeaux Region of France.
My childhood friend, Laura and I are both very fond of wine. So, most of our vacation included visiting famous wine regions with the hopes to better understand and appreciate French wines. Bourdoux, of course, was on the top of our list and we were estatic to see what it had to offer.
Caro our Guide, Educator, Inn Keeper and Winemaker picked us up at the train station upon our arrival in her family car. We drove through miles of flat fields full of sunflower farms and then started climbing up a grade filled with rolling hills of vineyards as far as you could see. To stop at a historic, but modest Chateau surrounded by vineyards on a dirt driveway. We were there!
Not knowing what to expect I was wearing a dress and heals. We got out of the car and looked at the beautiful serine scenic view. While standing there, we asked Caro where she would suggest for us to go for dinner, as well as what kind of transportation was available in the area. She responded, “The village of Saussignac is not far. Just walk down the road that we drove up, it will fork, then take a left and you will be in the village. There is one restaurant called Le Lion D’ Or that is very good.” So, we proceeded to the Lodge to unpack and change our shoes for the walk.
The Lodge was adorable! It had a common area with a gourmet kitchen, dinning table, desk, living area and an amazing view of the vineyards. The rooms were large and roomy with good sized bathrooms each featuring a claw foot tub with a shower kit. The stay included an organic continental breakfast, that was to die for! And a complimentary bottle of their Organic Bio Dynamic Feely family wine.
The next two days were fun filled. Including; a wine appreciation class, wine testing and pairing with lunch at the Feely family winery in Chateau Haut Garriguein, followed by a field trips to Chateau le Payral in Razac de Saussignac. The next day Caro drove and guided us to wine taste and tour the Famous Village of St. Emilion and the beautiful Chateau Fonplegde, that produces Grand Cru Classe wines. That were wonderful, but not as good in my opinion as the Feely wines.
If and when I go back to France, I will be sure to stay at the Lodge again. There was so much beauty in the people and the small village of Saussignac. I was so moved at how hard the people that live in this area work for what they believe in and love. Being there was an inspiration. I highly recommend it.