DOMAINE BELLUARD

In all likelihood, you've never heard of Ayze or it's local, rather obscure, indigenous grape, Gringet. After all, there are only 22ha of it left in the world (of which Dominique owns 12ha). The obscurity is too bad, because Dominique Belluard tireless works here, with this grape, striving to create some of the most singular, compelling wines around. In 2001, Dominique decided to convert his vineyards to biodynamics, which he feels interferes the least with the 700-year history of viticulture in Ayze (some people speculate that Gringet pre-dates the Roman influence in the area). When he didn't like what wood and steel were doing to his wines, he switched to concrete eggs, as he felt the smaller volumes and controlled aeration they provided yielded the best results for his small, unique parcels. Prior to Dom rediscovering the variety, Gringet was used almost exclusively for sparkling wine intended for casual chugging. Dom honors that heritage and makes beautiful sparkling Gringet (made entirely in-house, a rarity for the region). He also explores the grape’s potential for still wines, making some of the truest expressions of Ayze’s mountain terroir.