Jean and Chantal Berthet-Bondet came to the village of Château-Chalon in Jura after studying agronomy in Lyon. Their love of the land quickly found them harvesting their first vintage in 1985 with an old barn housing the vats, and the wines resting in the 16th century cellar under the house. The couple is meticulous, knowledgeable and passionate, and Berthet-Bondet produces a rather interesting array of white wines that truly convey their sense of place.
Berthet-Bondet is tucked away in the foothills of the Alps near the Swiss border. Just 50 miles from Burgundy, Jura is quirky, charming and serene, with wines to match. Long obscure, the region has become very popular in recent years. It is also the birthplace of Louis Pasteur, and the area is known for its intentionally oxidized wines. Their Château-Chalon, for example, slowly and gently oxidizes in oak barrels for more than six years. The resulting wines taste nutty, of marzipan and cooked apple, yet are fresh and vibrant. They also produce traditional wines, including a beautiful crémant, Chardonnay and Ruby, a lovely red.
In general, the wines of Chateau-Chalon match beautifully with richer foods: ham, butter, cream, mushrooms and aged mountain cheese, such as the local Comté. Some find these wines to be confusing, but when paired properly, they are brilliant.
Martine’s Wines is the appointed importer for Berthet-Bondet in all of the United States with the following exceptions: NY, NJ