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SaVOIE-BUGEY WINE

Discover our beautiful selection of wines from the French Savoy region!

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A HISTORIC VINEYARD

The oldest accounts of vine growing in Savoie date back to the 1st century BC by authors such as Columelle and Pline. During the Middle Ages, religious people contributed considerably to the development of Savoyard viticulture. The monks carried out various experiments in viticulture and vinification, improving the quality of the wines. The history of Savoie wines then underwent many changes. Between the Middle Ages and the Revolution, the wine-growing areas of the region were extended thanks to the abolition of serfdom. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, vines were cultivated on plains, but also on slopes of more than 1,000 metres in altitude. In order to maintain the quality of the wines and to limit this progression, Duke Emmanuel Philibert instituted the grape harvest ban, via an edict in 1559. This measure was put in place in order to favour the harvest of grapes at good maturity.

The arrival of phylloxera, occurring a few years after the annexation of Savoie to France in 1860, caused considerable ravages on the vineyard. However, thanks to a vast replanting movement and the discovery of the technique of grafting on American rootstock, the surface area of the Savoyard vineyard remains constant. Numerous facts then mark the history of the vineyard and improve the quality of the production, in particular the modernisation of cultivation techniques and wine-making methods, but also the control of yields. Today, the wine region has more than 2,000 hectares or so of vines, much of which is in the Savoie department. It produces more than 20 crus, broken down intowhite wines (accounting for about 80% of total production), red wines (about 17%), rose wines (about 5%) and sparkling wines (about 3%).

Accord met/vin : la raclette

Which Wine to Drink With Raclette?

Raclette and wine: the winter combo we love! Follow the recommendations of our experts for a guaranteed moment of pure pleasure! Read more â€ş

Accord met/vin : la fondue savoyarde

Which Wine to Drink With a Savoyard Fondue?

Follow Vinatis' advice to accompany your Savoyard fondue with a wine that matches this classic cheese dish! Read more â€ş

Accord met/vin : la tartiflette

Which Wine to Drink With Tartiflette?

Tartiflette is a must for winter meals. A Savoyard speciality, it is a symbol of comfort and days in the mountains. Read more â€ş

ENCEPAGEMENT: A WEALTH OF AMPELOGRAPHY

Located in eastern France, the Savoyard vineyards are distinguished by their green nature. With its largely stony soils, made up of moraine and limestone scree, this region is particularly favourable to vine growing. Sometimes continental and other times mountainous, the climate is also subject to the influences of the South and the Mediterranean. These different characteristics favour the production of a large variety of Savoie wines.

With these fairly diverse soils and varied climates, a great diversity of grape varieties adapts perfectly to Savoie's terroirs, allowing the production of wines with diverse characters. Despite its relatively small size, the Savoie vineyard stands out for its rich ampelographic heritage with its 23 grape varieties counted, out of the 250 varieties listed in France.

THE RARITY OF INDIGENOUS GRAPE VARIETIES

One of the particularities of Savoie wines is the 20 or so grape varieties cultivated, with a dominant share of indigenous grape varieties.

Indeed, seven varieties are grown uniquely in the Savoyard vineyard: Altesse, Gringet, Molette, Jacquère, Persan, Mondeuse Noire and Mondeuse Blanche.

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES

Savoie wines can be produced under three Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées: Vin de Savoie AOC, Roussette de Savoie AOC and Seyssel AOC.

These can be complemented by various geographical names depending on the terroir and grape varieties used. Some crus are produced as single grape varieties.

WHITE WINE AOC SAVOIE AOC

In white, the Vin de Savoie AOC or Savoie AOC may be supplemented by the following geographical denominations:

  • Les Abymes (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • Apremont (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • Chignin (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • Chautagne (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • Cruet (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • Jongieux (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • MontmĂ©lian (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • Saint Jeoire du PrieurĂ© (with a minimum of 80% Jacquère)
  • CrĂ©py (with a minimum of 80% Chasselas)
  • Marin (with a minimum of 80% Chasselas)
  • Marignan (with a minimum of 80% Chasselas)
  • Ripaille (with a minimum of 80% Chasselas)
  • Chignin Bergeron (made exclusively from the Roussanne grape variety)
  • Ayze (exclusively from the Gringet grape variety)

RED WINE AOC SAVOIE AOC

The red wines produced in the Savoie appellation may bear the following geographical names:

  • Arbin (only from Mondeuse, the emblematic grape variety of the region)
  • Saint Jean de la Porte (made only from Mondeuse)
  • Chautagne (possibility of using all grape varieties)
  • Jongieux (possibility of using all grape varieties)
  • Chignin (possibility of using all grape varieties)

ROSÉ WINE AOC SAVOIE AOC


The Savoie AOC also produces some rosé wines that can be made from all the authorised grape varieties. No geographical name completes the name of the appellation.

SPARKLING WINE AOC SAVOIE AOC


The Savoyard vineyard also produces a sparkling white wine on the traditional Savoie MĂ©thode AOC or Savoie Ayze AOC. The grape varieties used are Gringet and Roussette d'Ayze.

ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE AOC


The Roussette de Savoie AOC produces dry white wines, exclusively from the Altesse grape variety. It can be supplemented by the following geographical designations:

  • Frangy
  • Monthoux
  • Frangy
  • Monterminod

SEYSSEL AOC


Seyssel AOC offers still white wine, made exclusively from Altesse grape variety. This appellation also produces sparkling white wine using the traditional method, from a blend of the Molette and Altesse grape varieties.

SAVOYARD WHITE GRAPE VARIETIES

Although a large number of grape varieties are grown in the Savoyard vineyards, some are grown much more than than others. Among the most widely planted white grape varieties are:

  • Jacquère: the most planted white grape variety in Savoie, Jacquère covers about 50% of the vineyard. It is used to make Abymes, Apremont, Chignin and Saint Jeoire de PrieurĂ© Crus, in the Cluse de ChambĂ©ry. This grape variety is also present in Combe de Savoie, entering into the production of the Cruet Cru, and to the west of Lake Bourget for the production of the Jongieux Cru. The Jacquère grape makes it possible to obtain white wines with a pale colour. Full of freshness, these wines offer an aromatic palette marked by mineral notes and flowery aromas white flowers.
  • Altesse: also known as Roussette, this grape variety represents about 10% of the Savoyard vineyard's encepagement. Particularly adapted to sloping soils, Altesse confers richness and freshness, but also floral and fruity aromas to the wines. These are cuvĂ©es with good ageing potential!
  • Chasselas: present throughout the Lake Geneva area, this grape variety enters into the production of CrĂ©py, Marin, Marignan and Ripaille Crus. It gives the wines aromatic notes of fresh butter, dried fruit and toast.
  • Roussanne: called Bergeron in Savoie, this variety is grown in the communes of Chignin, MontmĂ©lian and Francin. Roussanne gives rise to Chignin Bergeron vintage, a rich and powerful white wine with aromas of ripe fruit, quince, apricot and honey.

Gringet, Aligoté and Chardonnay are other white grape varieties used for the production of Savoie wines.

SAVOYARD RED GRAPE VARIETIES

For the production of red and rosé wines, the Savoyard wine region also cultivates various grape varieties, including :

  • Mondeuse: covering about 12% of the Savoyard wine-growing area, this variety is particularly renowned on the Arbin and Saint Jean de la Porte Crus. Particularly resistant, this variety adapts perfectly to clay-limestone scree. Colourful and tannic, this grape variety brings spicy aromas of white pepper and notes of black fruit to the wines. Mondeuse gives structured wines with good ageing potential.
  • Gamay: representing about 15% of the vineyard, Gamay has adapted well on Jongieux and Chautagne. This grape variety gives wines that are fragrant and rich, to be appreciated in their youth.

In addition to these varieties, other red grape varieties are grown in the Savoyard vineyards:

  • Le Pinot Noir
  • Le Persan
  • Le Cabernet Franc
  • Le Cabernet Sauvignon
  • L’Étraire de Dui
  • Le Joubertin
  • Le Servanin
  • Le Mècle de Bourgoin

A DETERMINATION TO WIN BACK

Previously shunned by consumers, Savoie wines are experiencing a remarkable revival. This particularly dynamic vineyard has notably embarked on the reconquest of the ampelographic heritage, generating an upmarketing of Savoie wines. In addition to the 22 grape varieties already included in the specifications, other varieties have been included with the approval of the INAO: Douce Noire, Bia Blanc, Dousset, Mondeuse Grise, Hibou Noir, Pinot Gris and Petite Sainte-Marie.

The use of these various grape varieties allows the region's winemakers to produce a wide range of original cuvées. In addition, the improvement of cultivation and enological practices has enabled the production of top-of-the-range wines: white wines that fully express their singularity and exceptional red wines, reflecting the effects of great vintages on the emblematic red grape variety of the Savoyard vineyard, Mondeuse.

SAVOIE WINE AND RACLETTE, AN UNMISSABLE COMBO

The wines of Savoie allow for numerous combinations. However, to remain in the same terroir, the regional pairings are the order of the day. Sharing the same values (terroir, know-how and passion), Savoie wines and cheeses also undeniably share the same table. The wines of Savoie and the Savoyard specialities such as raclette, fondue or or even tartiflette create a perfectly successful combination.

In winter, raclette and Savoie wines are an unmissable combination. Wondering which bottle to serve for the occasion? Don't hesitate to read our article "Which Wine to Drink With Raclette?" to get an idea. For example, the freshness and fruity aromas of white wines are perfect for revealing the creaminess and elegance of cheese. The light sweetness of these wines blends very well with the fat and meaty texture of the processed cheese, and the strong flavours of the charcuterie. A wide range of Savoie white wines can be served with raclette, including vintages from the Chignin Bergeron, Chignin, Apremont or Roussette de Savoie AOCs.

Titillating the taste buds, the freshness and liveliness of these wines, combining fruity and mineral mouthfeel, counterbalance the richness and bring lightness to this rich dish. Fans of red wines, on the other hand, can opt for supple and juicy wines, expressing the fruit and with not much tannin, pairing very well with the charcuterie accompanying the raclette. For this, a Red Mondeuse is perfectly suited. Still not entirely sure if the raclette and Savoie wine pairing works? Our article "Raclette and Wine: the Winter Combo We Love!" will surely convince you. In addition to typical Savoyard dishes, Savoie wines, appreciated for their finesse, also go wonderfully with fine gastronomy. The white wines of the region are best enjoyed with cheese platters, seafood, white meats, grilled fish or fish in sauce. Lovers of Savoie red wines can accompany them with fine charcuterie or a game dish.

More information on the French official website

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