Jean-Noël Belloc is a thoroughbred winemaker who has consistently continued his father's pioneering work, and who practices viticulture as a precise craft.
Graves in the south of Bordeaux is among the oldest of the region's growing areas – and among the most misunderstood. This is even more true of owner and winemaker Jean-Noël Belloc. The Château Brondelle estate had a good reputation before the phylloxera crisis, but by the time Louis Turtaut – Jean-Noël's grandfather – bought it in 1927, vines no longer grew there. Turtaut initially bred cattle and grew tobacco, planting vines on just two-and-a-half hectares of the least fertile soil. From 1968 onwards, his son-in-law Roger Belloc expanded the vineyard to 8 hectares of the excellent gravel soil that gives the Graves region its name. Jean-Noël Belloc, who has managed the family estate since 1994, gradually expanded the operation to a total area of 65 hectares, with vines in the Bordeaux Supérieur, Sauternes and Pessac-Léognan appellations. But the heart of the proud company – as it has always been – remains Château Brondelle, surrounded by its 20 hectares of vines. They produce four cuvées: two white, two red. The red Grand Vin, the top cuvée, comes from three hectares of selected vineyards and is the result of particularly strict selection.