Two Burgundy wineries from one pair of hands

Domaine de Bellene and Maison Roche de Bellene

We’ve wanted to show the wines of these two Burgundy cellars for years. Both are the wineries of one of Burgundy’s best known négociants*, Nicolas Potel. While the Domaine de Bellene cultivates 18 hectares of partly its own and partly rented land, the wines of Maison Roche de Bellene are made from bought in grapes and must. Incidentally, the third branch of the enterprise is Collection Bellenum, which sells the older, limited release wines of the most outstanding Burgundy wineries. Now, five wines from the two wineries have made it into our selection.

Born into winemaking

Burgundian winemakers regard Nicolas Potel’s father, Gérard Potel, as the founder of the quality revolution. The merchant house they dreamt up together had to be launched by the younger Potel alone due to his father’s early death, but because of the respect that surrounds his family, he could work with the grapes of such highly regarded winemakers as Roumier, Lafon or Jean-Marc Boillot, even from the beginning. Success was guaranteed, but owing to the fast expansion and recession, he was forced to sell the company in 2002, and it was re-launched as Domaine de Bellene in 2005.

 

In the traditional Burgundian spirit

Nicolas Potel works in the traditional Burgundian spirit: the primary aim is the purest expression of the vineyards’ character. They cultivate in an organic, sustainable way, and they demand it even in the case of bought in grapes. Even the basic wines are made from the fruit of at least 40-year-old vines. The grapes from most of the vineyards are from plots planted prior to clone selection. They’ve been ploughing with horses since 2009, in order to avoid the compression of the soil, and to create favourable conditions for the flourishing microbiological life. They work with a basket press, crush the grapes by foot, and they don’t use enzymes, cultured yeast or oenological additives. They avoid pronounced barrel influence, their wines are characterised by elegance, pure and powerful flavours and long ageing potential.        

 

*négociant: According to its dictionary definition, it simply means a wine merchant but in Burgundy, it can be coupled with full scale winemaking activity, as in the case of Nicolas Potel.