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Château Belmar

in search of "the beautiful and the great”

Château Belmar is run by a man and a woman who set themselves a crazy challenge: producing wine in the northern Sarthe region. For Grégory Russel and Sidoine Grasset, the gamble paid off!

After a soil study by the Tours Chamber of Agriculture, the analysis revealed soils typical of Chablis Grand Cru and Burgundy Grands Crus. The decision was made: here, we'll be making top-of-the-range wine.

In Saint-Longis, the Château Belmar vineyard extends over 6 hectares in a single block, with numerous nearby plots, ¼ pinot noir, ¾ chardonnay. The highest vineyard in the Pays de la Loire (220 meters above sea level), it is the only one to benefit from the IGP Sarthe label, and has the highest density per hectare in the region (up to 11,000 vines).

At Château Belmar, the vineyards are cultivated according to the specifications of the great Burgundy growths, with the soil cultivated using a Percheron horse. The grapes are harvested by hand in two successive sortings, destemmed and gently pressed without oxygen. The nectar evolves in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats in the estate's 4-level gravity-fed cellar, a former convent in Mamers. Prioritizing quality over quantity, the estate yields 35-40 hectolitres, depending on the year. Barrel ageing, carried out by French “Meilleurs Ouvriers de France”, lasts 12 to 22 months, depending on the evolution of each vintage.

Almost a decade after dreaming it, in 2022 Château Belmar presents its first cuvée, Chardonnay 2019 IGP Sarthe, to investors and professionals alike. A cuvée in which all praise its great value. Just like the SommelierS International tasting panel, which described it as “a successful Chardonnay for this 1st vintage”, “surprisingly fresh and crisply acidic”. A Chardonnay followed by a similarly powerful Pinot Noir. However, Grégory Russel never forgets that this success is a collective one: “None of this would have been possible without the 149 associates who believed in us”, and continues the adventure not far from here, creating the Groupement Foncier Viticole Massif de Perseigne, in Saint Rigomer des Bois.

On this new terroir, a similar soil to that of the greatest Pomerols was recognized. The new challenge is now to create an exceptional wine with Pomerol-type Merlot, in IGP Sarthe. These cuvées will be ready for release in late 2024.

In the meantime, don't hesitate to take advantage of the estate's rich wine-tourism offer. Spread over 2 hectares, including a 15,000 m2 park with, of course, the vineyard, but also a river running through it, the estate offers function rooms for weddings or seminars, an orangery with a view over the vines, and the château's salons.
A 6-person gîte, 7 single rooms and 3 dormitories are also available.
Definitely a unique terroir to be discovered!

Sandy Bénard-Ravoisier / Photos : Château Belmar