When Sean and I (Caro born Caroline Wardle) met in Johannesburg in 1993 we both had a passion for wine. Sean’s grandfather was a winegrower in the Cape of South Africa and I had been sharing a house with a Master of Wine. We wanted to pursue our dream of winefarming so we moved to Cape Town to continue our careers in the heart of the winelands.
Shortly afterwards we had an opportunity to move to Ireland. With Irish roots we jumped at the chance. A year later on our first wine trip to France we were smitten. Eight more years of work and saving and our dream came to fruition.
We bought our vineyard in South West France in 2005 following our dream to create great wines on fine terroir. Now, with the wisdom of many years of winegrowing we celebrate not a misty dream but years of hard work and the inspiration of working with nature and nurturing this farm back to the full health and flavour of a living biodynamic soil. In our risky endeavour we have felt a lot: sometimes fear, sometimes pain but mostly great joy and fulfillment.
We hope that through our living wines you will find inspiration. You can read about our adventures in Caro Feely’s books
You can read about the story of this organic vineyard, wine school and farm – the series includes three books by Caro Feely (order online with amazon via these links or from your local bookstore) Grape Expectations: A Family’s Vineyard Adventure in France (Caro Feely Book 1), Saving Our Skins: Building a Vineyard Dream in France ( Caro Feely book 2 ), Glass Half Full: The Ups and Downs of Vineyard Life in France (Caro Feely Book 3)
Our Irish Roots
We lived in Dublin from 1997 to 2005 – when we moved to start Chateau Feely – and both our daughters were born in Dublin. Sean’s grandparents on both sides were Irish. We have roots deep in wine. His grandparents grew vines near Stellenbosch in South Africa’s Western Cape after moving from Ireland in their youth – one of the Catholic-Protestant unions that fled Ireland at that time. Sean was bitten by the bug of winegrowing at an early age, helping them with harvest as a schoolboy. On Caro’s side, her grandmother was a French, descended from the French tribe that moved from Normandy to Galway to import wine in the 1300s so I’ve come full circle. The Frenches were noted as significant wine traders in Bordeaux and Ireland in the golden era of the 1800s.