Producer: Roche & Domaine de Bellene
There is something attractively maverick about the young, informal team at Domaine de Bellene and at the same time incongruous in their occupation of 16th century, once military buildings in Beaune’s Rue du Faubourg St-Nicolas.
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This is Nicolas Potel’s project, whom we first met many years ago working with his father at Domaine de la Pousse d’Or in Volnay. His winery is beautifully equipped and was renovated in as eco-friendly a way as was possible. Maison Roche de Bellene is the merchant side of the business, buying in wine, must and increasingly grapes with the aim of being, as Nicolas puts it: the only Haute Couture negoçiant in Burgundy. Close relationships with growers are key, for instance in securing the grand crus, as the chap who is in charge of the Maison Roche de Bellene explains: They come from top estates; instant cash if they sell a barrel is always welcome. This negoçiant business was started in 2008 and the domaine in 2005 which now stands at 15 ha. These vineyards extend to Santenay, Saint-Romain, Volnay, Beaune, Nuits-Saint-Georges up to Vosne-Romanée and are all between 50 and 110 years of age. They are all worked using organic methods with no chaptalisation or acidification. Nicolas has an infectious enthusiasm which he is channelling well into the establishment of both Domaine de Bellene and Maison Roche de Bellene.