Belondrade Wines: A Spanish Legacy with French Roots

Belondrade Wines: A Spanish Legacy with French Roots.

Centered in the heart of Spain’s Rueda region, Belondrade Wines stands as a testament to the fusion of French expertise and Spanish terroir. Founded by Didier Belondrade in the early 1990s, this winery has become a symbol of innovation and quality in Spanish winemaking. Today, Didier’s son, Jean Belondrade, continues the legacy, working alongside his father to uphold and enhance the family’s vision.

The Origins of Belondrade

The story of Belondrade Wines begins with Didier Belondrade’s fascination with the Verdejo grape, a native variety of Rueda. Recognizing its untapped potential, Didier made the bold move from Bordeaux to Spain, aiming to create age-worthy white wines—a concept relatively unexplored in the region at that time. The first vintage of Belondrade y Lurton in 1994 marked the beginning of a new era for Spanish white wines, challenging the norms and setting a high standard for quality and longevity.

A Blend of Cultures

Jean Belondrade humorously remarks that the only foreign aspect of their winery is their family name. Despite their French origins, the Belondrades have fully embraced their Spanish identity. This cultural blend is evident in their approach to winemaking, where they combine meticulous French techniques with the robust and diverse Spanish terroir.

“Spain still accounts for the great majority of our sales,” Jean notes, emphasizing their deep integration into the Spanish wine landscape. Their wines are proudly Spanish, from the language on their website to the vineyards they cultivate.

The Philosophy: Elegance in Detail

Belondrade Wines operates on a philosophy of balance and elegance. Jean often speaks about the importance of detail, believing that the difference between a good wine and a great wine lies in the nuances. This meticulous attention to detail is evident in their flagship wine, Belondrade y Lurton, known for its complexity, depth, and aging potential.

Their approach to winemaking is reminiscent of Bordeaux, where they view their vineyard as an orchestra, blending different plots to create a harmonious and balanced wine. This method ensures consistency and quality, year after year. 

Apart from Didier and his son Jean, a key figure at the winery is Marta Baquerizo. She plays a crucial role in translating Didier’s ideas and philosophy into the wines, significantly contributing to the winery’s success.

The Belondrade Team in their Cellar.

The Vineyards and the Wines

Belondrade’s vineyards span 41 hectares, divided into 24 main plots and numerous subplots, each with its unique characteristics. The high altitude and continental climate of the Duero Valley, with its extreme temperature variations, create the perfect conditions for cultivating Verdejo.

Their flagship wine, Belondrade y Lurton, is a testament to their commitment to quality and innovation. Unlike typical barrel-fermented wines, Belondrade y Lurton integrates the oak subtly, ensuring it enhances rather than overpowers the wine. This wine is known for its balance, structure, and the ability to age gracefully over many years.

In addition to their flagship, Belondrade produces Quinta Apolonia, a more approachable and variety-driven wine. With one-third fermented in barrels and two-thirds in tanks, it offers a fresher expression of Verdejo, perfect for immediate enjoyment.

The Belondrade vineyards, with the Verdejo plants and typical rock covered Rueda soil.

The Flagship, Belondrade y Lurton (2022)

Recently we had the opportunity to review the 2022 vintage of Belondrade’s flagship wine, Belondrade y Lurton. This is a wine that is no stranger to us, as we enjoyed several vintages of it over the past years. One example is the review of the previous year, 2020, which you can find here

Belondrade y Lurton 2022 is the epitome of meticulous craftsmanship and the harmonious marriage of nature and art. This wine is a testament to the dedication and passion poured into each of its 23 plots at the organic Quinta San Diego farm. Each plot is carefully harvested by hand, then fermented and aged separately on its lees in French oak barrels, a process that ensures the individuality and expression of each parcel is preserved before the final blend is created.

The winemaking process of Belondrade y Lurton is a labor of love and precision. Spontaneous and controlled alcoholic fermentation in French oak barrels sets the stage for a 10-month aging on lees, a technique that imparts complexity and depth. After aging, the wine undergoes a meticulous selection and blending process, ensuring that only the finest expressions make it to the bottle. This final blend is then aged for an additional five months in the bottle, allowing the wine to harmonize and mature before release.

Belondrade y Lurton 2022 – 96-point DWA score.

Our tasting notes for the 2022 vintage:

The wine pours a bright golden yellow, a visual prelude to the richness and depth that follow. On the nose, this Belondrade y Lurton is an aromatic symphony. The initial bouquet reveals notes of pineapple and mango, layered with the subtle elegance of white flowers and orange peel. As it opens, hints of peach and dry hay emerge, intertwined with a delicate whisper of vanilla and a faint saline edge that adds intrigue and complexity.

Upon tasting, the wine is full-bodied and luxuriant, enveloping the palate with tropical fruit flavors, notably pineapple and mango. These vibrant fruit notes are beautifully complemented by a subtle thread of vanilla and a delicate touch of orange blossom. The wine’s texture is creamy yet balanced by a bright acidity, ensuring freshness and vivacity. The oak influence is perfectly integrated, imparting a slight roasted nuance without overshadowing the primary fruit characteristics.

The finish is where Belondrade y Lurton 2022 truly shines. It concludes with a distinctive, faintly bitter twist, a hallmark of traditional Verdejos that adds a layer of authenticity and nostalgia. This lingering finish, with its saline and mineral nuances, invites another sip and ensures the wine’s flavors resonate long after the glass is empty.

Belondrade y Lurton is a masterclass in winemaking, a wine that speaks of its terroir and the dedication of its makers. It is a wine that delights with every sip, offering a harmonious blend of fruit, floral, and subtle oak notes, all wrapped in a package of elegant acidity and complexity. 

While this wine is crafted to be enjoyed within 6 to 8 years of its vintage, it is already showing remarkable elegance and balance. However, those who choose to cellar it will be rewarded with even greater depth and complexity as it continues to evolve.

We award this wine with a 96-point DWA score.

The Legacy and the Future

Belondrade Wines has not only made a mark in Spain but also on the global stage. Their success is partly due to their ability to maintain a high standard and partly due to serendipitous endorsements, such as being the preferred wine of the late football legend Johan Cruyff and being featured prominently in the renowned El Bulli restaurant.

Looking to the future, Belondrade continues to innovate. Their latest project, Les Parcelles, represents a culmination of years of experimentation and dedication. This wine, made from two distinct plots with carefully selected old vines, is aged longer to reach its full potential before release, offering a new level of sophistication and maturity.

The Belondrade Estate.

Grape Masters, a Chat with Jean

If you want to learn more about Belondrade Wines and Jean Belondrade, we suggest you put your headphones on! We have interviewed Jean for episode 2 of our Podcast series Grape Masters, which will be released shortly.

Stay tuned and follow us on our website, socials and through our newsletter to tune in for this up-close and personal interview.


Belondrade Wines is more than just a winery; it’s a bridge between cultures, a symbol of dedication to quality, and a beacon of innovation in the world of Spanish wine. As they continue to grow and evolve, the Belondrade family remains committed to their philosophy of elegance, balance, and meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that every bottle they produce is a true reflection of their unique heritage and vision.

This article is written by our own Niels Aarts. If you would like to read more about Belondrade we suggest an earlier article discussing the winery and their wines, which you can find here

We also interviewed Jean in our previous Podcast, Cellar Talks. You can find more information about this Podcast here.

Belondrade Wines is imported in the Netherlands by importer Jean Arnaud, and available through selected retail and hospitality partners. We would like to thank Jean Belondrade, as well as our friends at Jean Arnaud, for their support in writing this article.