Domaine Roger Belland
As the sixth generation vintner at Domaine Roger Belland, Julie Belland has full responsibility at her father’s winery and vineyard; 2009 was her first solo vintage. “Julie runs the Domaine and makes the wines…she’s a young dynamic woman in a male-dominated scene,” says Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director.
With 23 hectares to cultivate, Domaine Belland has avoided herbicides by using ploughing to control weed growth for the past 20 years. This practice, used in conjunction with grass sown between the rows of vines, has enabled the Bellands to fight erosion and control yields, to produce complex, concentrated wines.
Situated in the commune of Santenay, located at the southern tip of Côte de Beaune, Domaine Belland has been in the family since 1839. With Premier and Grand Cru holdings in Santenay, Les Maranges, Chassagne Montrachet, Puligny Montrachet, Mersault, Volnay and Pommard, Domaine Belland works with some of the world’s best terroir. Of the famed Grand Cru parcel Criots Batard-Montrachet, which is divided amongst seven producers, Roger possesses the largest holding–0.60ha–of the 1.57ha vineyard. One of the few Domaines to own an entire climat in Burgundy, Belland controls the 3ha monopole Clos Pitois (first planted in 1421), a well-exposed corner of Chassagne’s Premier Cru Morgeot.
Despite their 23ha, the Bellands hand-harvest all of their grapes. Since Julie has taken over, the Domaine has increased their practice of leaf-pulling in the vineyard, for additional aeration, which better maintains the health of the grapes. She has also decreased the use of new oak, from 50% to 30%, except for the Criots Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, which sees closer to 60% new wood. “I’ve noticed the wines are getting prettier,” says Patrick, “easier to drink younger, which seems to be the trend in Burgundy.” Her father, on the other hand, has noted the increase in the wines’ minerality since Julie has taken to the helm, a note that we’re happy to sing.