France, Loire Valley

Jérôme Bretaudeau is at the forefront of a new wave of vintners revitalizing the Muscadet region, the westernmost appellation in the Loire Valley. Located where the Loire River meets the Atlantic Ocean, Muscadet is characterized by a cool, maritime climate and granitic soils rich in igneous rocks, silica pebbles, and quartz. This unique terroir produces distinctive wines noted for their low alcohol, high acidity, and complex minerality.

In stark contrast to the prevailing practices of Muscadet, which is often dominated by overcropped, industrially-produced wines from cooperatives, Jérôme’s Domaine de Bellevue distinguishes itself with 15 hectares of vineyards that are both organically (Ecocert certified since 2012) and biodynamically (Biodyvin certified since 2020) cultivated. Jérôme’s approach is both innovative and experimental, crafting not only grape varieties from the appellation’s signature Melon de Bourgogne but from Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Savagnin, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sauvignon Gris.
Domaine de Bellevue is defined by an intriguing mosaic of 10 parcels, each with its own distinctive soil composition—from gabbro and amphibolite to granite and sandy loam. This geological diversity is instrumental in Jérôme’s winemaking, allowing him to craft a range of expressions that epitomize the versatility of the Muscadet region.
The harvesting at Domaine de Bellevue is meticulously timed, ensuring that each variety reaches optimal maturity. In the cellar, Jérôme employs diverse fermentation techniques tailored to best express the character of each variety. The wines typically undergo prolonged, slow fermentation over indigenous yeasts to preserve each variety’s intrinsic qualities. Aging is skillfully managed in a variety of vessels, including traditional oak barrels, modern tanks, cement eggs, and amphorae, each chosen to suit the desired profile of the wine.
Above all, Jérôme Bretaudeau’s wines stand as a testament to his pioneering spirit, offering fresh perspectives not only on Muscadet but also on a thoughtful array of other varieties. His ability to capture the unique properties of each grape variety and parcel results in wines that are not only faithful reflections of their terroir but also showcase Jérôme’s creative genius.