Bellet's vineyard, which some make go back up to the Antiquity, is at least one of the oldest in France. Smolett reported that a part of the production was exported to England in the XVIIIth century and improved during the journey. The other originality is the fact that this vineyard is completely located on the territory of a big city, Nice. The vineyard covers more than 50 hectares, at a height between 200 and 300 meters, and benefits of pedological conditions (rolled pebbles mixed with clear sand and some clayey inclusions) and climatic ideal conditions. Vines are Rolle and Chardonnais for white wines, and la Folle noire and le Braquet, with some contributions of Grenache and Cinsault, for red and rosé wines. After rattachement* of Nice to France, Bellet's wine had to overcome several threats: The competition of the other French productions, the phylloxera, the invasion of the hills by the floral cultures, then by the residential constructions. The strong affection of the owners, Mari, Thomé, the baron of Bellet, for this wine assured its survival. as a consecration of the efforts, the vineyard was classified in controlled Label of origin ( Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée AOC) in 1941. The vineyard is divided into small domestic exploitations among which Bellet's castle ( de Charnacé's family), castle of Crémat ( Bagnis), Hermès ( Sosno), domaines Augier, de la Source ( Dalmasso), Fogolar ( Spizzo), Gilli, Massa, Clos Saint-Vincent and don Baile, SCEA côteaux de Bellet... The production can reach 135 000 bottles a year.

Ralph SCHOR

 

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