Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Le Puy Notre Dame

So many people ask us why the name Le Puy.  I think most people look at it and think ... why would you name your inn that?  Well,  thank goodness there is a good story behind it.  First of all to put to rest the mystery of how to pronounce it... think "pwee".  Le Puy.  Easy!  Right?

We toured the Loire Valley in France with our home base in Le Puy Notre Dame, a quaint French countryside village.  The land surrounding us was full of vineyards and where the soil was deemed unsuitable for grapes, there were rolling fields of sunflowers.  Inspired by the beauty of the region and the simple sweetness of the name Le Puy, we looked further into the origin and meaning.  Basically, it is old French for “isolated hill” or "volcanic hill".  There are several Le Puys throughout France.  They are most often ancient worship sites which contained a dolmen (sacred stone) and were usually replaced by Christian churches.  Le Puy Notre Dame contains bones of Mary or a saint, I think.  

Le Puy Notre Dame situated in the heart of the Saumur vineyards in the ancient dukedom of Anjou. The village itself is unique in its old, historic buildings, its extensive caves and the sheer number of wine makers exercising their craft in the vineyards surrounding the village. Long renown for the quality of its red wine, the village has been awarded its own wine appellation, an immense achievement which has taken years of endeavour. The new appellation is called Saumur-Puy Notre Dame and the first labels will appear on bottles in 2010.  

 Where we stayed: (a lovely inn with well appointed apartments and old world charm.  Sheila and Brian are well worth a visit and wonderful hosts!)

Our property, although located in wine country, is not really suitable for grapes, so that is why we infused the sunflower theme into our name.  We sit on a hillside with spectacular views of the Chehalem Ridge and peeks at the Coastal range, Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson.  We feel the mix of nature, spirituality and deep rooted history behind the name, fits into our dream for creating a holistic, sustainable inn.  Thus, Le Puy, our wine valley inn was born.

Photography here courtesy of Wendy Dreaney and Clos Des Guyons.

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