High above Nice and the shimmering blue Bay of Angels, the terraced parcel of land known as Le Bellet, a 136-acre expanse of vineyards in the western foothills of the city, is a wine-lover's sun-drenched secret. And for good reason. Only 200,000 bottles of Nice's superb award-winning wines are produced each year, by 14 vineyards.
The whites are totally characteristic and aromatic, and the rosés are produced using a large number of different grapes. Two local grape varieties (folle - or fuella - and braquet) gives the reds a truly distinctive quality.
Bellet wines are highly recommended as accompaniments to the famous cuisine of Nice.
* Domaine Augier - Tél: 126.96.36.199
* Château de Bellet - Tél: 188.8.131.52
* Clos dou Baile - Tél: 184.108.40.206
* Domaine de la Source - Tél: 220.127.116.11
* Domaine Massa - Tél: 93.37.80.02
* Château Crémat - Tél: 18.104.22.168
* Clos Saint-Vincent - Tél: 22.214.171.124
* Domaine de Fogolar - Tél : 126.96.36.199
* Cave coop. Les Coteaux de Bellet - Tél: 188.8.131.52
Château de Bellet (Photo top page)
The Château de Bellet is the historic residence of the Barons of Bellet and has been producing wines for centuries. The Château is located high in the hills north of Nice in a separate appellation known as AOC Bellet. The grounds include a 15th Century castle and a private chapel. Today, the Château is presided over by Ghislain de Charnacé, the grandson of the Baron of Bellet, who has also served as the President of the syndicate of vintners in the area.
The vineyard is comprised of stone and sand. The vines are trellised and planted in rows of three. The winemaking is traditional. No herbicides or pesticides are used and the grapes are picked by hand.
The Château produces white, rosé and red wines. The white is made using mainly Rolle and a small percentage of Chardonnay. The wine is stored in barrels for approximately one year before bottling. The white is a wine that can be drunk now or kept for many years because of the high concentration of Rolle. The rosé is made of 100% Braquet, a local grape variety. The rosé is a gastronomic rosé that can be drunk for at least two years.
Château de Crémat (Photo above)
From the enormous terrace of the Château de Crémat, a turn-of-the-century stone castle perched above the sea, you can see all of Nice's landmarks-the Promenade des Anglais, the pink and white wedding-cake dome of the Hôtel Negresco and the curving Mediterranean shore. Behind us, the snow capped Alpes-Maritimes are a dramatic backdrop to the terraced green hillside.
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