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Domaine Belluard
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Domaine BelluardSummary: Domaine Belluard  is operated by an enthusiastic and passionate couple, Dominique and Valerie Belluard. A unique wine variety, Gringet, and photographic views of the vineyards with high mountains in the background and sparkling wines are reasons to visit the winery in the Savoie wine region of France.

Domaine Belluard sits below a range of mountains that rise to 1,690 meters (over 5,500 feet). Domaine Belluard, in the Savoie wine region of France, is located on property that Dominique Belluard’s parents purchased in 1947. The vineyard and winery are located in the town of Ayse.

Dominique’s father had an orchard and a few vines. The farm was self-sufficient. Between the 1970s and the 1980s the farm became more specialized with grape growing and winemaking.

Domaine BelluardVineyards

Currently Dominique and Valerie have eight hectares (about 20 acres) of grapes near the winery. Another two hectares are located a short distance away on a hillside at a higher elevation. Ninety-five percent of the vineyards are planted with Gringet (pictured), a grape indigenous to the region. The Gringet variety may have been growing in the area before the Romans arrived. The Belluards also have a small percentage of Altesse, a white grape and Mondeuse a red grape.

Dominique went to oenology school in Beaune. In 1988 he began converting the property towards vineyards and a winery. Now, he wants to use organic and biodynamic principles in the vineyard and is beginning to apply biodynamic teas to the grapes. For example, in the fall he buries a female cow’s horn filled with manure and in the springtime makes a tea with the compost to spray on the vines. Dominique also follows the biodynamic calendar.

Gringet is unique to Ayse and the surrounding villages. There are only ten wineries (producing) Gringet wines.

Domaine BelluardDomaine BelluardWinery

In the winery, Dominique uses large amphora when making red wines. According to Dominique, this helps to soften the hardness of Mondeuse wines.

Although there are a few stainless steel tanks, the pride of the winery is the egg-shaped cement tanks. The winery has one room filled with these very special tanks. If given the option, Dominique would replace all his stainless steel tanks with the egg-shaped cement tanks.

Domaine BelluardDomaine BelluardTasting Room

The tasting room is small and cozy. It offers an intimate tasting. Stone walls and honey-colored wood provide a contrast that blends well. Two old wood barrels were cut and set into one wall. One of these sections has a sink while the other has shelves with photographs. On a stone wall, there is a carved statue of St. Vincent, patron saint of winemaking. A relaxing and intimate wine tasting takes place at a table, providing you with a feel of sitting at a kitchen table.

Domaine BelluardWines

Dominique uses the best vineyard grape blocks for making dry white wine. Domaine Belluard produces 40,000 bottles of brut sparkling wine and 20,000 bottles of white wines.

Brut 2009 was produced by the traditional method using the Gringet grapes. The dosage for this wine was a mix of wine, white sugar and brown sugar. The resulting wine was a dark yellow. The aroma was of floral, mineral and yellow stone fruit. This sparkling wine had a lot going on. There were layers of aromatics and tastes with a nice cleansing effervescence. Brut Zéro 2009 received no dosage. The wine was also a dark yellow. The wine offered notes of bread dough and hints of yellow stone fruit. It had a cleansing affect. On the aftertaste, fruits yielded to mineral with floral nuances.

Alps 2011 was also made with Gringet grapes. The wine was a dark yellow to gold color. The aroma offered minerals and floral nuances. The taste was smooth with mineral, floral and yellow stone fruit. The finish was fruit forward. Le Feu 2011 (The Fire) was named for the red soil. The aroma was of minerals and peaches. The taste had peach and some floral notes. The aftertaste was of fruits, minerals and floral. Le Feu 2007 was a yellow wine with an aroma and taste that reminded one of yellow stone fruit, floral, minerality and spice. The wine offered a long aftertaste with layers of fruit, minerals, floral and spice.

Domaine BelluardDomaine Belluard is open for wine tastings; call ahead to check on the times. Experience a different part of France with a different taste. Enjoy the sites of the area and take a camera. Vineyards close to mountains make wonderful photographic possibilities.

Domaine Belluard
283 les Chenevaz
74130 AYSE, France

GPS: N46º 04.686’ E6º 26.919’

 

 

 

 


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