Our history

Belle Isle The Enchantress

At the mouth of the Corbières massif, swept along by the southerly winds, at the bend of the Cathar castles, Belle Isle lures us in like a siren who has been lured from her dreams, and who, in revenge, ravishes our souls to take them to the secret of her depths.

The Marquise de Belle-Isle, Marie Madeleine de Castille, appears in the shade of an olive tree, sipping a rosé de l'Isle, next to the angel of love, as beautiful as the Venus in Charles Lebrun's painting, "L'Amour Fixé", of which she was the Muse, Paul Pugnaud would join her in proclaiming his poems over a glass of Château de Belle-Isle, the estate whose viticultural design he shaped, between a few maritime escapades ; Then, in the cool of the cellar, we'll catch Nicolas Fouquet and Louis XIV celebrating a gargantuan ambiguity, accompanied by Corbière-Boutenac, castigating the unfortunate.

And if "Vaux will never be more beautiful than it will be this evening" (Jean de la Fontaine, "Letter to Maucroix", Vaux le Vicomte celebration, 17 August 1661), Belle-Isle the Enchantress is now softening souls.

La belle Histoire

Beyond the tales and legends evoked by the gentle melody "Château de Belle-Isle", a long time ago, under the reign of Louis XIV, power, opulence, decay and resilience all intertwined to name a small piece of land in the Corbières after the famous Breton island of Belle-Isle-en-Mer.

This is the story of the Belle-Isle estate.

In 1638, Nicolas Foucquet bought Belle-Isle-en-Mer from the Duc de Retz, and with it the title of Marquis de Belle-Isle. He had the island fortified to ensure its defence.

On 5 September 1661, Nicolas Fouquet, then Superintendent of Finances, accused of embezzlement by Colbert, was arrested by D'Artagnan. The King sentenced him to life imprisonment, but allowed him and his family to keep their lands and titles. Finally, the king substituted his authority over the island for that of the Marquis.

During Nicolas Fouquet's imprisonment, Marie Madeleine de Castille, his wife, defended the interests of her family and demanded that the King compensate her for the value of the fortifications built by her husband. Her request was accepted by the King's Council.

On the death of Louis XIV in 1714, as no settlement had been reached, the matter was brought before the Council of Regency, which awarded the Province of Brittany 400,000 pounds in reimbursement, payable in cash. In 1728, nothing had been paid...

The Conseil de Régence then proposed a solution involving an exchange of seigneuries, a proposal that was ratified on 16 March 1728.

It should be noted that in 1719, several seigneuries in Languedoc (including the barony of Lézignan) were detached from the Royal Estate and reconstituted as fiefs for the benefit of the Duke of Belle-Isle, under an exchange contract, with the stipulation of immediate possession, by provision of the granted estates, and entry into possession on 1st January 1720.

This is how the Belle-Isle estate came to be, in the heart of the Corbières.


The Estate

In 2021, the Pugnaud family handed over Domaine de Belle Isle to Jean-Luc Ruelle and his family. A lifelong lover of wine and the Corbières region, the Lorrain-born Jean-Luc Ruelle, who was also born in Côte d'Ivoire after a long career in West Africa, fell under the spell of Belle Isle and realised his dream of returning to his roots on the land.

Rigour, excellence, but simplicity, always with respect for nature, are the hallmarks of our young production.

Belle-Isle is still revealing its secrets.

The Château de Belle-Isle estate covers 75 hectares. Its vineyards are planted on terraces of pebbles and clay-limestone gravel.

48 hectares are currently farmed following a qualitative restructuring of the estate. The estate has been in organic conversion since 2021 and is HVE3 certified.

36 hectares are allocated to the Corbières and Corbières-Boutenac appellations, and 12 hectares to the IGP Pays d'Oc.

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