The Best of France and nearby!

Put a step into the AOP Bellet in Nice, with the gastronomic wines from the Domaine de la Source

4 min read


The excellent combined conditions promote the expression and full maturity of vines, in harmony of the different wines of Nice..

Did you know that the oldest French wine appellation is located on the French Riviera? Therefore, it’s called the Bellet appellation and it covers nowadays around 650 hectares, including 50 hectares in operation, on the hillsides of the last foothills of the French Alps, at an average altitude of between 200 and 300 meters (more to read here).

Entirely located on the territory of the sunny commune of Nice, in the department of Alpes-Maritimes, in the heart of the Mediterranean region, this vineyard enjoys beautiful sunshine (more than 2700 hours per year), beneficial rains (838 mm per year) and a particular micro-climate due to its location at altitude and the winds (mistral and tramontane), blowing almost continuously in the Var valley (photo credits: Domaine de la Source).

These surrounding vines take root in narrow planks, called “restanques”, made up of rolled pebbles, mixed with very light sand (“poudingue”) with a few clay veins. The appellation decree authorizes a certain number of grape varieties for the A.O.P. Bellet. For white wines, you would essentially find Rolle grapes, a typically Mediterranean plant, and primary grape variety for the appellation’s white wines (80 to 90%), and Chardonnay. For red and rosé wines, don’t miss the Folle Noire (so named for its very capricious yield from one year to the next), Braquet (which is also the name of an old local family), Grenache and Cinsault. This wide potential is described here with the wines from the Domaine de la SourceBy AP

..producing this tasty Bellet red wine.
What a wild environment for vineyards..

If you wanna learn more about Nice gastronomy, you couldn’t miss the local wine production. Indeed, among the oldest and smallest vineyards in France, you could count on the Domaine de la Source which was created in the 1980s by Jacques and Hélène Dalmasso. Recently, their children Carine and Eric joined them to expand the family estate, which nowadays spreads over 7 hectares on sloped plots and bathed under the generous sun of the French Riviera.

Thus, nestled on the heights of the hills of Nice, just 10 minutes away by car from the mythical Baie des Anges, this family domain has decided to adopt an organic agriculture. 

..and while being full of Folle Noire grapes.
This vine plant is ready to blossom..

Therefore, in order to preserve as much as possible its surrounding breathtaking environment (without pesticides nor chemical fertilizers but just biodynamic cultivation) and its magnificent terroir, known under the A.O.P. Bellet. Then, officially formalized in 1941, this so-called Bellet wines are developed over a surface covering 650ha, of whom only 60ha are planted and exploited by 9 different domains, over the craggy territory around the large agglomeration of Nice, at an average altitude of 200m. Those vineyards are regularly blown by the sea winds coming up through the Var valley along random dry alpine winds, offering enough iodine and mineral elements to complete its situation on silico-limestone soils and rolled pebbles dating from the Pliocene era. 


..a surprising sparkling wine to discover with those bubbles!
What an elegant and fresh rosé wine that we recommend!

That’s why, those vines are settled on steep slopes which can only be planted on cramped terraces, offering much character to those juices, also very acclaimed by gastronomic addresses and celebrities, since the former US president Thomas Jefferson, passionate about French wines, appreciated those Grands Crus of Nice which he discovered during a visit to France.

Furthermore, he may have been seduced by the unique taste of the various grape varieties cultivated for the elaboration of those special wines. Those are Rolle bringing floral aromas, while Clairette complete the elaboration of white wines with a fruity touch. 

..all reflecting the originality and a certain exotism of these rare wines, with a view.
The local cultivated grapes are Rolle, Braquet along Folle Noire and Grenache.. 

In another hand, concerning red wines, we could count on the extremely dark Folle Noire, full of tannins, and Braquet grapes varieties, plus two Mediterranean species, which are Grenache and Cinsault. The Braquet is also called Brachet, and is also employed in rosé wines, thanks to its fragrant black grapes. Its delicate aromas ensure the finesse of any wine, nonetheless this variety used to be eventually the only one featuring in these vineyards and it’s still today employed as mono-varietal in some domains. In the case of the Domaine de la Source, their production proposes 3 colors of organic wines, starring endemic grape varieties, even for some of them dating back to Roman times. 


Domaine de la Source, 303 Chemin de Saquier, 06200 Nice (France) / Phone : 00 33 (0)4 93 29 81 60. More information on the official website. The domain remains open all year round, to visit and taste their fabulous wines.


error: Content is protected !!