I’m working through my Côte d’Azur Travel Diaries and today we’re looking at vineyards in Nice. So far, I’ve covered Nice, Éze, Monaco, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Our trip out to the vineyards in Nice was a comedy of errors. It was absolutely pouring that day, with rain clouds looming as made our way through the surprisingly steep hills and along winding roads. We perhaps didn’t make enough of a plan, but we thought we knew where we were going.
Vineyards in Nice Travel Diary
Our Google maps led us to a driveway where there were, in fact, other cars parked, and an elderly man motioned at us where to go. No, it didn’t quite look like a vineyard, but all signs seemed to be pointing us in the right direction.
And we walked into someone’s home? A party? Maybe there was a vineyard there? It was all unclear. They were incredibly welcoming and, between drags of cigarettes — so French, offered to sell us wine to go, but it was certainly not a professionally run tasting room. I’m sure the wine was delicious, but we decided to keep on moving, and ended up at two delightful spots.
Château de Bellet
Our first stop was Château de Bellet, which has the most incredibly views looking out over the foothills of the Alps and straight to the Mediterranean Sea. Even on this stormy day, it was breathtaking. The tasting room lives within an old chapel, that we were told has been appropriately deconsecrated for drinking that’s not of the communion variety. We were led through the tasting by a student doing her internship in wine tourism — a focus of study we’d run across several more times throughout our time in France. She explained the history of the Bellet appellation, and, whether it was due to the ambiance or the actual wine, we left with a few bottles.
Domaine de la Source
Our next stop landed somewhere in between the feel of the first and second. It was another situation where we felt like we might be coming upon a private party (a private party of handsome French men, I might add), but with a bit more of a professional edge. Domaine de la Source offered both wine and olive oil tastings, set amidst a lush covered patio. We saddled up to the bar, safely out of the rain.
While we were cold and perhaps eager to get home to a big meal and one of our newly acquired bottles of wine, I can imagine this spot is stunning on a warm spring day, with a breeze blowing through the hills and the flowers blooming. A reason to go back to properly experience the vineyards in Nice, right?