Drive twenty minutes to reach the northernmost place of Nice to set foot in the flagship vineyard of the area, the château de Bellet. At 300 meters of altitude in front of the sea, the Château is 10 of the 60 hectares and one of the nine vineyards in the AOP. The appellation Bellet is 80 years old in 2021but the first vines were in the soil since the 18th century. A vineyard, a wine cellar, the best landscape, sunglasses and a chapel, the setting is awesome! Welcome to Château de Bellet, an exclusive bio vineyard with unique cepages giving character to the wine where the majority of the +100k bottles produced every year are only available in the french riviera.
The visit starts with an introduction by walking near the rolle vines. Established in the mountain, it is not really flat here! By its steep nature, the ground requires human work and grapes are manually cut as it is impossible for the machines or a horse to operate. Bellet is an autochton domain as the three main cepages are only flourishing in the AOP by gently taking the sun during the day and the sea breeze during the night. It includes Braquet for rose, Rolle (also known as vermentillo in Italia) for white and Folle Noire for red wines which grows up in a poudingue soil. Grenache to be assembled with folle noire and Chardonnay with rolle are also present in minority in the vineyard. Grenache brings roundness and chardonnay introduce acidity. Practically, we are in Nice city, but it smells so good that it brings back great old moments of my youth hanging out in the countryside.
Let’s continue the visit to the wine warehouse. Wines are manually triaged and scraped at the first floor before going into the tanks then bred in barrels downstairs in an air-conditioned room at 17 Celsius degrees. A statue of Agnes Roissard de Bellet which was built with the same stones as the oceanographic museum of Monaco is watching us so don’t sip too much around 😉 Every barrel has a name and the year of production before being bottled. In the first rows, the oldest millesime I’ve seen is 2013. There are three available range of prices: Château de Bellet « Vin de plaisir », La Chapelle « Vins de terroir » and Agnes « Vins d’exception ». The bottle price goes up to 60 euros. Vins de plaisir must be drink between 2 and 5 years, vins de terroir until 10 years and vins d’exception goes up to 15 years.
Our host, Julia, run the wine tasting in the crypt of the chapel with the six bottles of the « Vins de plaisir » et « Vins de terroir » products range. Two white, two rose and two red to feel the difference between the ranges in terms of complexity. The white has citrus and floral flavors with rolle and chardonnay meanwhile the red is delicate and powerful. The rose is uniquely full-bodied and perfumed glad to Braquet. Better to be your companion for a piece of socca than for refreshing after a beachday. Definitely, the wines have aromatic and structured traits. Think about the rich nissart cuisine like pissaladieres, tourtes de blettes, farcis nicois for an ideal food pairing. If you were not invited to the Monaco’s Prince Albert and Charlene marriage, you can still find Bellet wines in the fine dining restaurants on the riviera like at Louroc and other gastronomic places.
Pour plus d’informations, visitez le site du château de Bellet.