The Pierres dorées region is nestled in the hills of the Beaujolais, an area where even a cloudy day offers impressive views, for example at dawn or during breakfast at Dharma.house.
The village of Charnay is surrounded by vines, and autumnal colours are particularly rich.
Beaujolais is obviously not reducible to the “Beaujolais Nouveau”: Julienas St Amour, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly are all from the Beaujolais region.
A neighbour of Dharma.house, Jean-Paul Brun, produces “l'Ancien”, a name (“the old”) which does not refer to some ancient method but to old vines (50 years old according to some, 80+ according to others). 100% Gamay, traditional viticulture, Burgundian winemaking (sorting, de-stemming, crushing), 12% alcohol, the 2013 vintage was rated 89/100 by Robert Parker and 16/20 (as in 2006) by Gault&Millau…
Numerous walks in the surroundings make it possible to appreciate the regional architecture, where many old stone-buildings are still preserved.
The local stones have a typical ochre colour, particularly striking in direct sunlight, which gives its name to the region of the “golden stones”.
The village of Charnay(-en-Beaujolais) —in the Rhône county, not to be confused with Charnay-lès-Mâcon, 48km further north, in Saône-et-Loire— is known for its castle, the “château de la Mansarde” (and its 15th century panoramic tower, open every Sunday during the summer) as well as its Romanesque church from the 13th century, dedicated to St Christopher and St Vincent.
Numerous clubs, a small weekly market, local shops (bar-restaurant, grocery, restaurant, hairdresser), touristic and viticultural activities, and multiple events throughout the year make Charnay into a lively village.
And not far from these traditional houses, an architect house is hidden, which the locals have nicknamed “the aquarium.” This is Dharma.house.