When cruising leisurely in an open car along the provincial road between Fayence and Seillance in Provence, wind messing with your hair and medieval villages glueing your eyes on their catchy live portraits, you may pass the discrete signpost to the Domaine du Clos Notre-Dame. A shame to miss it though! This is not any of the typical commercial wineries that mushroom like truffles in this part of the Var department. Run as a small business, the produce of which is largely consumed within the family makes it worth peaking in.
La cave of Domaine du Clos Notre-Dame
Domaine du Clos Notre-Dame produces wine, olive oil and flowers. I cannot imagine a more seductive, tasty and beautiful work than theirs – tending to the colourful rose petals, dipping bread into a fresh olive oil, and savouring juicy plump grapes before the harvest …, some call it hedonism, but I think of enjoying the fruits of nature in heaven.
Domaine du Clos Notre-Dame in Provence
The winemaker Alain Rebuffel together with his wife live in this raspberry door appendix to the centuries old church, where they also make wine. Although the Domaine, run since 1997 by Mr. Rebuffel, is not as well-known in the area as Val d’Iris and other bigger wineries, it has a more discrete character and unique location. Their tiny production would during the medieval times supply just enough for the local church. I could imagine a wine-savvy priest with a bold head and round belly savouring the juices of his work during a religious sermon and enjoying a Bacchus-worthy feast afterwards.
Vineyards of Domaine du Clos Notre Dame
The Domaine du Clos Notre-Dame has no website, there is not much information to be found about their wines, and the winery is glueing to the Roman church as if it were one building, so not many wine drinkers get to its humble yet accommodating cellar. Trying at least their top-level fruity F2T rosé as an enjoyable and easy wine for the summer lunch would carve a wide smile on your face. It is a fruit bomb with a red raspberry jam jazzing up your mouth and crisp acidity sizzling on your tongue in the finish. Classified as Vin de Pays du Var IGP, it reflects the local terroir and does not rigidly stick to the AOC rules. It is a liberal expression of the local artisan.
The five reds they make are quite a challenge – tannic, rustic and by all means very, very expressive – but would satisfy any local family table with a generous meal. As a well-travelled and to various world wines daily exposed connoisseur, I would lean towards their pink and more subtle white wines.
Rural setting of the Domaine du Clos Notre-Dame winery
The Domaine du Clos Notre-Dame produces also olive oil, sells cheese and jams from local producers and shows visitors the restraint interior of the 11th century chapel. The views from its vineyards reward you on a clear day with a splendid view of the old stone build-up of the medieval Fayence.
 Clos Notre-Dame, 83440 Fayence.
Follow the road from Fayence to Seillance and turn off the road left when you see the sign for the church.
 +33 4 94 84 12 41; baerbuffel@aol.fr
 Daily except Sundays and holidays 9am-12noon; 6pm-7:30pm.