05 August 2011

beaujolais bike trip: chez agnès et jean foillard, villié-morgon

Renowned natural Beaujolais vignerons Jean and Agnès Foillard run a small, well-appointed chambre d'hôte just outside the center of Villié-Morgon. Jean wasn't around during our stay, unfortunately, and we hadn't made an appointment to taste, so the experience we had was decidedly non-wine-related. It was like staying in a small, well-appointed chambre d'hôte run by retired schoolteachers.

Having enjoyed Foillard's happily ubiquitous benchmark Morgons and Fleuries throughout roughly 40% of the dinners I've had in Paris, and tasted through same wines several times at tastings, it wasn't a huge disappointment. It would have been nice to see the chais and taste a few back vintages, if any were available. But there's always the next trip, for that.

In the meantime I had a room to myself with an extra bed and a huge shower* and an adjacent sitting room stuffed with French literature, the last item presumably provided for non-wine-drinkers who get dragged to Villié-Morgon by enthusiastic spouses. J and C showered and I sat around fiddling with my iPhone, wanting nothing more than to be in the same environment, only surrounded by, like, twelve good friends with healthy drinking appetites and nowhere to be for a few days.

Maybe the Foillards' chambre d'hôte would make an excellent setting for a stag night. I wonder if people do those in Beaujolais. Agnès is extremely discreet, judging from our two brief interactions, checking in and checking out. Furthermore the extensive individualised breakfast array struck me as very restorative, such that when I encountered it in the morning, having risen before my traveling companions, I regretted not having more of a hungover hunger.

The other night of our mini-bike trip would be spent in a murdery mosquito-ridden hotel room across the street from the train station in Mâcon. So there's no question which was better lodging. Nevertheless I was relieved to get back to the business of biking and drinking when, after thanking Agnès for the delightful breakfast, we rejoined Karim Vionnet for a tour of his new facilities in Morgon. (As distinct from Villié-Morgon. Just-Morgon is a little further south.)

* It reminded me queerly of a trip I took through Italy once, when everything had been booked ahead for me and a companion, only said companion had bailed at the last minute, leaving me with two of everything for weeks on end. A sad trip. 

Agnès et Jean Foillard
Le Clachet
Tel: 04 74 04 24 97

Related Links:

Beaujolais Bike Trip: L'Atelier du Cuisinier, Villié-Morgon
Beaujolais Bike Trip: Le Relais des Caveaux, Villié-Morgon
Beaujolais Bike Trip: Isabelle et Bruno Perraud, Vauxrenard
Beaujolais Bike Trip: Le Coq à Juliénas, Juliénas
Beaujolais Bike Trip: Beaujolais Communiqué

A vastly more interesting 2006 visit to Jean Foillard @ WineTerroirs

A bottle of Foillard's 2000 Morgon Côte du Py at Les Itinéraires, 75005
A bottle of Foillard's 2008 Morgon Côte du Py at the since-closed wine bar Gustave et Jules, 75011
A bottle of Foillard's 2007 Morgon Côte du Py "3.14" at Le Chateaubriand, 75011

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