Bellet AOC

History

Pierre Thomé of the Château de Crémat became president of the Syndicat of the Vignerons of Bellet and together with the Baron de Charnacé, helped introduce the appellation of Bellet in 1941.

In 1986, there were 21 grape growers, but only 7 who vinified wine.

Geographical Delimitation

The appellation technically covers 650ha, although with only about 70ha under vine. Some fifteen family vineyards and numerous smallholdings are interspersed amongst suburban villas and greenhouses growing cut flowers.

Neighbourhoods in Bellet include:

  • Les Séoules
  • Le Pilon
  • Le Grand Bois
  • Golfan
  • Les Cappans
  • Saint Roman de Bellet
  • La Tour
  • Candau
  • Saquier
  • Serre-Long
  • Crémat
  • Cantagalet
  • La Pouncia
  • Saint-Saveur
  • Gros Pins

Location

The vineyards are situated high on the hills at between 200-300m, behind the town of Nice, overlooking the Var river valley to the west and the Magnan valley to the east.

From south to north, the southern vineyards are:

In the middle, on the eastern slopes

In the middle of the western slopes along the Chemin de Saquier

At the northern end of Chemin de Saquier

Climate

The climate is Mediterranean with 2700 hours of sun a year and 838 mm of annual rainfall. The heat is moderated with big diurnal variations caused by the cooling breezes of the Mistral and Tramontane reaching the hills from the sea and the nearby Var river valley, and cool breezes coming down from the Alps.

Harvest

Harvesting is around the end of September. Due to the layout of the land, this is manual. The legal yield limit is 40hl/ha.

Vinification

No chaptalisation is allowed. Alcohol was 10.5% for red and rosé and 11% for white in mid 1980’s. Rosé – maximum sugar level 3g/l. NB lower limit than Provence as of 2008.

White wine used to be the principal wine style. Bellet’s reputation for white wines relied on the fact that they were not oxidised like other southern white wines, due largely to the large diurnal temperature variation.

The mix has evolved; by 2008, if not earlier, wine production is more evenly divided between the three colours. In 2009 rosé was 25% of production.

In 2008 only around six domains were large enough to support full-time work.

One thought on “Bellet AOC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s