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English  France

Harpers Wine & Spirit Interview June 2012

Situated inside the regional park of the Causses du Quercy in south west France,is family-owned vineyard Domaine deBelfort — but the vineyard boasts a connection much closer to home, with Alderley Edge in Manchester. After marrying an Englishman who didn’t want to re locate to France, vineyard manager Muriel Lismonde — daughter of winemaker Eugène Lismonde — divides her time between the vineyard and selling wines direct in the UK.

Vinification and viticulture

The vineyard lies at an altitude of 300 metres, with a limestone -clay soil and is part of a Natura 2000 European protected territory, designed to preserve habitats, species and biodiversity . All wines are certifi ed organic and yields are low. “We only allow four to six bunches per vine, rather than the usual 15, to ensure optimum concentration of fruit and aromas. Everything is very carefully handpicked to retain only the best fruit,” says Muriel Lismonde. Grapes grown are: Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc , Semillon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Gris. Philosphy Core beliefs lie very much in biodiversity. “Our first vintage was in 2009. Right from the beginning it was really important to us to be as natural and as gentle possible in the vineyards and in the cellar, ” says Lismonde.

Range

Tour de Belfort Red, White and Rosé. The wines are made from different blends each year from “the best that nature gives us”. Buy direct from tour-debelfort.com; £10 per bottle, with free UK delivery for orders of 12 bottles or more.