Savoie

The Region

Savoie is in the mountainous areas just south of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and the border with Switzerland.  There are a dozen entirely distinct pockets of vineyards separated by towns, mountains and lakes.

There is a large Savoie growing region North of Aix-les-Bains (a lovely town on a delightful sailing lake) and a small one right on lake Geneva, but our selection comes nearly all from a more southern area past Chambery, where some of the best known names are to be found - the villages of Cruet, Arbin, Montmelian, Chignin and Apremont.

Do you have Chignin? Apremont? Roussette?

They love naming puzzles, in Savoie. The classic whites of Savoie are Jacquère and Altesse with Chardonnay and Roussanne. But they are rarely sold under those names. They are known as Chignin, Apremont, Abymes, Roussette, Sainte Marie and Bergeron... Confused? We explain it at the end of the page.

 

Wine Statistics    

  • 0.75%of national production.
  • Cultivated area, 2,000 ha approximately .
  • 70% white and 30% red.
  • Average 26 °C in summer and a minimum -3°C in winter.
  • Sun exposure,  1600 hours per year.
  • Average annual rainfall, 1200mm with rainy days.
  • Lowest elevation 250 metres, highest elevation 550 metres.
  • Soils are a diverse mix of glacial moraines, alluvial deposits, river terraces (river stone and clay) and terraced steep limestone scree slopes.

Savoie Wine Producers

Our main Savoie producers

Savoie Wine Grapes

The classic whites of Savoie are Jacquère and Altesse, then Gringet, Chardonnay and Roussanne. But they are rarely sold under those names. They are known as Chignin, Apremont, Abymes, Roussette, Sainte Marie and Bergeron.

Sainte Marie is the local name for Chardonnay.

Roussette is a name for a wine made from Altesse in Savoie (there are other Roussettes elsewhere).

Chignin, Apremont, Abymes are all regional names for the Jacquère grape.

Chignin is not to be confused with Chignin-Bergeron, which is a wine made around the same town of Chignin from the Roussanne grape, which they call Bergeron in Savoie.

And Roussanne must not be confused with Roussette... Yup, they reused similar names a lot in the Alps. Just try them all and you'll never confuse them again.

The classic reds at least use their own name. You will find a little Gamay and Pinot Noir, the regional star Mondeuse Noire and the very rare Persan.

We also have the rare Mondeuse Blanche and in some years, the even rarer Verdesse.

some of the most typical varieties in our Savoie selection

What is Roussette?

It is a white from Savoie made from the variety Altesse.

The wines are "richer" than those made from the fresher Jacquère and have traditionally been made to express more complexity (less effort is often made on Jacquère) so they will often be the dining wines to Jacquère's apéritif. But this is just convention and when both are done right, both are fabulous on their own and very food friendly.

Roussette is a floral/herbal white with honeyed/nut notes. It remains very transparent to terroir which is why we have two different ones :)

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