La Source des Fées: in the heart of the Burgundian countryside
When I was in my early teens my parents arranged a summer exchange with my French pen-pal. I’d already crossed the Channel once (to sing at Chartres Cathedral), a trip that marked the beginning of a life-long love affair with France.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how much that stay on a family farm in Charente would shape my appreciation for rural life.
Imagine my delight when I discovered at the end of my recent journey to Burgundy this that the night would be spent in the little village of Fuissé. My first sleep came courtesy of a lovingly restored home turned informal auberge, La Source des Fées.
La Source des Fées translates as The Fairies’ Spring—and there is indeed a pretty stream that runs right through the village and this property.
After an excellent dinner at riverside Le Poisson d’Or in nearby Macon—go for the Rouget (Mullet) and onion confit and green vegetable tartlette—I climbed the well-worn stairs to my room. I opened the window and gazed out through the 2 ft. thick, 16th century walls onto the vineyard, its gnarled vines marching up the hill into the cosseting night.
I’m drawn to houses like this. Their sense of history, what they’ve witnessed, and the presence of those gone before is almost palpable. I loved the smooth, hollowed out courtyard flagstones and the gently rustic but comfortable feel of my spacious room—adjoining a very modern bathroom. La Source des Fées is a unique guesthouse set in tranquil surroundings—with a qualified masseuse and beauty therapist on staff to help you relax further.
In the morning there was just enough time for café au lait, fresh croissants and juice, and a quick tasting with innkeeper and winemaker host, Philippe Greffet, before leaving.
Philippe and his family have spent years restoring the house, and he makes the wines in an adjacent cellar. St. Véran, Pouilly Fuissé and Mâcon Rouge are produced, from 4.5 hectares of vineyards.
• La Source des Fées St. Véran Terres Noires 2011. From various parcels, named for the domaine’s black soil, with distinct mineral and subtle but polished tropical notes. 89 pts. N/A Canada
• La Source des Fées Cep Eternel 2011. From 60 year old vines. A good balance of fruit and acidity, well structured with stone fruit and acacia hints. 89 pts. (SAQ c. $24)
If you’re traveling in Burgundy, La Source des Feés offers an enjoyable, reasonably priced and very welcoming village experience. Not to mention a chance to taste some good domaine wines with the winemaker.