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JURA & SAVOIE

LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON & CAHORS

PROVENCE & CORSICA

RHONE VALLEY

DOMAINE DU BEL AIR

Pierre & his son Rodolphe

Domaine du Bel Air is a certified organic estate that has been creating traditional wines from Bourgeuil for the past five generations. Throughout the decades, the Gauthier family enjoyed their wines privately until 1979, when they began to sell their wines commercially. Pierre Gauthier, the man who oversaw this transformation, continues to make the wines today alongside his son, Rodolphe (collaborating together since 2005).

Domaine du Bel Air is a certified organic estate that has been creating traditional wines from Bourgeuil for the past five generations. Throughout the decades, the Gauthier family enjoyed their wines privately until 1979, when they began to sell their wines commercially. Pierre Gauthier, the man who oversaw this transformation, continues to make the wines today alongside his son, Rodolphe (collaborating together since 2005).

The Domaine produces fairly deep, age-worthy Cabernet Francs from their 18 hectares located in Benais, a 200-hectare area just east of Bourgeuil. The region is famous for its clay-limestone terrain and the numerous, impressive caves carved into the tuffeaux. These caves were created by the French as they extracted this porous rock (called "pierre de Loire" or "tuffeaux") over the centuries. This tuffeaux help creates France's imposing fortresses against the barbarians (then the English), and was later transformed into breathtaking chateaux during the Renaissance. Though rock excavation had significantly decreased after the Revolution – during which some castles were used as barracks, others for prisons - the practice continued in some areas as late as 1950. Today, the caves are used only for ageing wines, a role at which these dark chambers excel, providing naturally steady, low temperatures in a quiet, light-free environment. The Gauthiers' wine cellars can be found in one of these caves, its entrance is nearly concealed by vines, with the domaine' s grapes growing just above. 

The Gauthiers have long practised methods that respect the land and the surrounding terroir. They received official organic certification in 2000. Their 18 hectares of vineyard average 30 years of age, some are as old as 80 years. They usually prune by hand, practising green harvesting to keep the crop low - mostly under 40 hectolitres per hectare. Thick rows of grass grow in between the guyot - trained vines, which the Gauthiers harvest all by hand. They produce one entry-level cuvée called “Jour de Soif”. It is made from 20-year-old vines and aged in stainless steel tanks. The remainder of their cuvées are all aged in 600-liter demi-muids, with a varying percentage of new oak depending on the specific terroir and vintage. These are their top wines, crafted with fairly long macerations followed by lengthy ageing in cask. Overall, Domaine du Bel Air's wines are made in an un-manipulated, age-worthy style.

The Gauthiers have long practiced methods that respect the land and the surrounding terroir. They received official organic certification in 2000. Their 18 hectares of vineyard average 30 years of age, some are as old as 80 years. They usually prune by hand, practicing green harvesting to keep the crop low - mostly under 40 hectoliters per hectare. Thick rows of grass grows in between the guyot - trained vines, which the Gauthiers harvest all by hand. They produce one entry - level cuvée called “Jour de Soif”. It is made from 20 year old vines and aged in stainless steel tanks. The remainder of their cuvées are all aged in 600-liter demi-muids, with a varying percentage of new oak depending on the specific terroir and vintage. These are their top wines, crafted with fairly long macerations followed by a lengthy elevage in cask. Overall, the wines of Domaine du Bel Air are made in an unmanipulated, age - worthy style.


REGION OF PRODUCTION

Loire Valley - France


APPELLATION

Bourgueil


FOUNDED

1880

VINEYARD

20 ha


CLIMATE

Warm and temperate


SOIL COMPOSITION

Clay-limestone


VARIETIES GROWN

Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon


AGRICULTURE

Organic

WINES OF THE DOMAIN

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