About us

A history from generation to generation

The heritage of a winemaking spirit

The paternal grandparents settled in Gironde in the late 19th centurywhile the maternal grandparents arrived in around 1925. Originally from Périgord and Corrèze, they dedicated themselves to agriculture and winegrowing in Arveyres, a municipality near Libourne making Bordeaux Supérieur.

Son Jean Bouldy and his wife Andrée bought Château Bellegrave in 1951. The couple threw themselves into the task of winemaking, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. In the second half of the XXth century, the Bouldys were one of the families bringing fresh momentum to the Pomerol appellation with courage, humility and perseverance, on estates that matched their discretion and self-sacrifice.

Jean-Marie Bouldy took over the estate in 1980 and was joined by his wife Pascale in 1995. Their children also began working at the estate (Aurélie in 2014 and Jean-Baptiste in 2015), continuing Château Bellegrave’s true family orientation.

Château Bellegrave - Famille
Château Bellegrave - Familles
Château Bellegrave - Feuilles

terroir

THE ROOTS OF POMEROL

Château Bellegrave - separator

Small yet immense, the Pomerol vineyards are a ‘select’ terroir 30 km from Bordeaux, near Libourne. What makes the appellation special is its unique and exceptional geological makeup.

It consists of stony surface gravel, clay and sand with a subsoil rich in iron oxide, also known as ‘crasse de fer’. This perfect soil and subsoil is combined with an ideal microclimate, helping to produce excellent wines.

Château Bellegrave and its 8.5 hectares of vines (75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc) are in the south-west of the Pomerol appellation.

ORGANICALLY ORGANIC

100% organic, 100% Pomerol

Originally, the winegrowing processes used were ‘conventional’ – definitely sustainable (soil tilling by machine to avoid herbicide use, manure etc.), but synthetic pesticides were still used.

The shock came in the early 2000s when the law required suppliers to provide safety data sheets, and we discovered that certain products were hazardous!

Jean-Marie Bouldy responded with gentle reflection. He immersed himself in works devoted to organic cultivation, attended seminars and conferences, and undertook tests and studies on select plots of land.

More than just a colossal undertaking, it also took prolonged, painstaking work to re-establish the soil’s underground life and give the plants that logical ingredient that we had forgotten: natural nourishment! Organic simply means following the laws of nature…

Jean-Marie started an ‘unofficial’ conversion from 2001 onwards.

Château Bellegrave - Grappe de raisin
Château Bellegrave - Terre

Château Bellegrave officially converted to organic agriculture with its ECOCERT certification in 2009.

His ethos: ‘We have to say mass among the vines!’ This is not magic, but agronomy, and a new dialogue with the land. Nor is it a return to the Middle Ages, in fact quite the opposite: the approach is built on cutting-edge science and technology with an all-inclusive view of the plant, the soil, the climate, the seasons, the moon, biodiversity, and flora and fauna. Hares are back running between the rows and birds are nesting again beneath the Merlot leaves.

Château Bellegrave - bouteilles
Château Bellegrave - Vigne

Most of the work is done among the vines, without any need for being overly interventionist in the winery: the quality of the fruit alone is enough, as the grapes now have incomparable flavour!
All that remains is to oversee winemaking, to assist in a simple, straightforward way.

The wine’s quality and lasting excellence alone demonstrate his commitment. All the essentials are there: Pomerol and organic all in one!