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February 8, 2020 0

AOC Bellet: Historic Appellation with a Vibrant, Innovative Spirit

The tiny village of St. Romain de Bellet is a true oasis in the bustle of the Côte d’Azur: vegetable gardens, olive groves and patches of vineyard cling to the hills rising steeply above the city of Nice. Standing here, just a few kilometers from the gleaming blue Mediterranean, it is easy to forget that this is where the Ancient Greeks planted the first vines on French soil several centuries before the common era. During the French Revolution, this quiet hamlet was renamed Bacchus in recognition of its wine-making stature.

The vineyards around St. Romain de Bellet constitute the AOC Bellet, one of the smallest appellations in France and the only AOC located entirely within the city limits of a single town.

The vineyards dot the hills just West of the city of Nice, at an altitude of 200 to 400 meters above sea level, on the left bank of the Var River. The southernmost vineyards are only 4 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, enjoying long summers and cooling sea breezes.

One of the oldest appellations in France (established in 1941), Bellet has a long history of...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

February 1, 2020 0

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Big Boy

I recently had a comment regarding the high alcohol percentage (14.5%) of a white wine, and how the reader felt that more and more wines were being produced with increased alcohol content. My response was that, for me, it was all about balance. That particular wine was beautifully balanced and I never once was aware of...
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Off the Via Domitia

March 15, 2018 16

OFF THE VIA DOMITIA

HOW MARKUS NIGGLI VENTURED INTO MAKING EUROPEAN-STYLE WHITE WINES IN LODI, CALIFORNIA

Markus Niggli—founder of Markus Wine Co. at Borra Vineyards in Lodi, California-- is an exceptionally talented and savvy winemaker who started making his own small-production line of edgy, artisanal white wines in 2010. He was not quite 40 years old
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Wine Snoops

December 9, 2019 2

IS ROSÉ A SERIOUS WINE? LVMH INVESTMENT IN CHÂTEAU D’ESCLANS SUGGESTS IT CAN BE

I posed that question in an article by the same name few years ago. Relying heavily on the high end of the continuum of rosés from the portfolio of Sacha Lichine’s Château d’Esclans...
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