He named the property Bellefont (“beautiful fountain”) after the many underground natural springs that existed under the vineyards of the estate that made cultivation possible. The Château has a fantastic circular vat room with a huge steel framed roof, reportedly designed by Gustave Eiffel.
The vineyards cover 12.5 hectares and are planted 72% merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Whilst the vineyard consists of just one continuous plot, there are distinct varying terroirs within the vineyard with the different varieties planted to best suit each of the terroirs.
Part of the plot sits on the limestone plateau, then moves to the south-facing Pavie slope of clay and limestone before lower down becoming more sandier clay soils.
Newer vines have been planted at a higher vine density of 8,000 vines per hectare with a major restructuring of the vineyard taking place in 1994. The average age of the vines is 30 years old.
The wines are vinified in a mix of concrete and stainless-steel tanks with no use of sulphur used in the fermentation/vinification process and with only a little used prior to bottling.
The élevage in barrel depends on the vintage; with the 2017 aged in just 40% new oak, the 2016 in 80% new oak. Whether this is vintage variable or a change in winemaking since the change in ownership remains to be seen.
It is worth noting the last three vintages under the ownership of Peter Kwok have seen dramatic improvement in the wines according to critics.
A second wine called Marquis de Bellefont is also produced at the estate.