Would you buy a winery if you knew nothing about wine? What about if there was no one there who could show you and the winery had been in liquidation? Add to it the fact that you were moving to a strange country where you weren’t fluent in the language and had to deal with local business practices that can be challenging and it sounds like a recipe for disaster!
10 years on from their move to France expat South Africans Caro and Sean Feely have developed a working winery and are loving life in the Saussignac region, around an hour from Bordeaux.
Caro joined us to discuss life in France, the challenges of starting a new business in an industry you’ve never been involved in and how the recent tragedy in Paris has affected the people of France.
You can find out more about Feely Wines and Caro’s books at www.feelywines.com
What I learned from speaking with Caro:
- Sometimes following your passion does work out. Despite the odds against them these two have made their passion work and are now grateful for the new life they have.
- Aren’t neighbors wonderful! Without the support of surrounding wine growers (who might be viewed as competition) Caro and Sean would probably never have succeeded with their venture
- Sean and Caro were able to use their Irish residency as a back door to France. It is relatively easy to become an Irish citizen if descended from one. This is a second passport option I’m exploring myself as it provides easy long term access to much of Europe. I’ll be sharing my experiences of applying for my Irish passport in an upcoming issue of The Expat Chat magazine.