If Savoie Mont-Blanc is a mecca for skiing in winter, hiking and swimming in summer, this mountain area is also a land of excellence for wine. Our ideas for experiences and tastings to discover the alpine wine side.
Wine flows well in the veins of Savoie Mont Blanc (2nd agricultural sector after milk); and this since ancient times. After white gold, wine is the other treasure; wines distinguished in competitions, by reference guides and in good position on starred tables. 23 vines of which 7 unique in the world (a record), 3 AOP, 20 cru and 2050 hectares of vineyards (1) ranging from the southern shore of Lake Geneva, the Arve valley, Frangy / Seyssel on the Alta Savoie, in Aix-les-Bains Riviera of the Alps / banks of the Rhone to the Heart of Savoy on the Savoy side; these last two terroirs are labeled as “Vignobles & Découvertes” (2). Jacquère, altesse, mondeuse, abymes, apremont, chignin, pinot noir, chautagne, just to mention some of the Savoy wines to be tasted with a view of the mountains; a delight for the taste buds and pupils. Follow the leader.
Sweet “vina” in the heart of Savoy
A visit to the Savoy Vineyard and Wine Museum in Montmélian is a must. For wine experiences, go to Granges-Longes area (Porta Savoia). A brother and a sister, two winemakers, 3rd generation. Arnaud for the technique, the vinification and the creation of the house wines, and Julia for the entertainment, heart also in the vineyard: picnic in the vineyard (20 €), “vineyard aperitif” (7 €), “day collectors” “(€ 35 day), food and wine pairings (€ 10). Revelations: the combinations Gamay-Tome des Bauges, Pinot-Bleu des Aillons, Roussette-Beaufort d’Alpage, Apremont-fish from the Savoy Mont Blanc lakes. “Cuvée Papinot” (pinot noir) inscribed in the Hachette 2022 Guide. To extend the discovery: sleep in the gîte, the family home overlooking the vineyard and the emblematic Mont-Granier, Massifs des Bauges, Chartreuse and Belledonne. Another excellent address that offers an awakening with a view (5 minutes walk from the Domaine des Granges Longes): La Violette Castle.
Freewheeling in Chignin
Chignin, undoubtedly the most famous Savoy wine, whose hilly slopes can be traveled on two wheels, standing. Unusual and practical, the Segway to cross the vineyard with 7 watchtowers (€ 49), with Didier Planche (Events and free time) guide for an excursion that ends with a tasting at the Domaine de la Gerbelle, Claude Quenard & Son, pioneer of organic (22 years and biodynamic) and 12 wines in the cellar. Another enlightening passage: La Maison Grisard. Philippe Grisard likes to say that here there is “relief in the wines as well as in the landscapes”. Specialist in ancient rare grape varieties, he has just relaunched the first cuvées produced by Mondeuse grise grown in sheep-raised vines.
Immersion in a vineyard house in Aix-les-Bains
Awesome Domaine Xavier-Jacqueline and its urban cellar in the heart of Aix-les-Bains. The father, Xavier, and his two daughters, Mathilde and Justine, create there 8 artisanal wines from Savoy, certified organic. Six hectares harvested by hand on the heights of the lake and at the foot of Chambotte, in Brison Saint-Innocent: a dream setting for dinners and summer aperitifs, yoga & wine and tastings at sunset. Other nice brackets: the stay in the winemaker’s house, a “Belle Époque” family building and the evenings of improvisation theater, a new appointment to try all year round and during the Fascinating weekend (13-16 October 2022); the opportunity to meet the sparkling trio, creators of the “Perle du Lac” that thrills the taste buds in gourmet restaurants.
Jongieux and Chautagne: cycling and gastronomy
Starting in Portout (Chanaz), riding an electric mountain bike (starting at € 45) and letting Nicolas (Prolynx) drive you is a good way to explore the hill slopes of Jongieux and Chautagne, the Dent du Chat straight and the Rhone below. Stop at the Cave du Prieuré to taste Maretel, a wine of the plot to be tasted too Morainières, table with double star. The visit of Chautagne winery (Ruffieux) and its “awakening of the senses” circuit come to perfect knowledge on the creation of wine, the cooperative (60 winegrowers) and its gold-awarded wines including the cuvée “Rosé d’Exception 2021” (Competition of the great wines of France), the Mondeuse “Bartelette 2020” (Competition Agricole Paris 2022), and the “Chautagne rouge gamay” selected by the Guide Hachette. Also to be enjoyed in the water during the wine cruise on the Canal de Savière from Chanaz (€ 16).
At the table with the wines of Savoy
122 references to the menu 100% Savoia wines from Lido, the last of the bistronomic restaurants in Aix-les-Bains; each wine can be tasted by the glass. Jacquere, Mondeuse and Altesse are the center of attention Jean Sulpiceat the Auberge du Père Bise (Talloires) and at the Orangerie a Candia Castle (Chambéry) where you can also taste the house white wine (4000 bottles per year). Chef David Loisel organizes cooking and food-wine pairing masterclasses (€ 129). Another gourmet address: Auberge Saint Vincent ; Philippe Chapot’s Jaquère with caramelized shortbread and Savoie pears is a delight.
New stay “Wines of Savoy”
For L’Auberge d’Aillon and Elsewhere (Bauges), discreet new address in the heart of the Massif des Bauges (30 minutes from Chambéry). An autumn stay for wine lovers (€ 250 / pers.): Overnight stay, gourmet meal with food and wine pairing and a trip to the vineyards with Raphaël Saint-Germain to discover the history and nuances of Savoy wines.
(1). Source Wines of Savoy.
(2.) Label awarded to wine tourism destinations for their efforts in terms of diversity in the offer of stays.
Savoy Mont Blanc Agency : savoie-mont-blanc.com
Agency Aix-les-Bains Riviera of the Alps : aixlesbains-rivieradesalpes.com
Tourist Office of the Heart of Savoy:vignobles.tourisme.coeurdesavoie.fr
Chambéry Montagnes Tourist Office: Chamberymontagnes.com
Wines of Savoy : vindesavoie.fr
Fascinating weekend : auvergnerhonealpes.fascinant-weekend.fr
WHERE TO TASTE?
Domaine Les Granges Longes, 401 route de Myans, 73800 Porte-de-Savoie, tel. : 06 84 59 14 80.
Domaine de la Gerbelle, Claude Quénard & Son, Le Villard-26 chemin de la tour de Montagny, 73800 Chignin. Such. : 04 79 28 12 04.
Domaine Xavier-Jaqueline, 9 chemin de Saint Simond, 73100 Aix-les-Bains. Such. : 06 76 94 34 16.
The Priory cellar, Le Haut, 73170 Jongieux. Such. : 04 79 44 02 22.
Chautagne winery, 47 Impasse de la Cave, 73310 Ruffieux. Such. : 04 79 54 27 12.
Restaurant Le Lido, Route des Bords du Lac, 73100 Tresserve. Such. : 04 79 36 36 50.
Portout Inn, Rte de Portout D914, 73310 Chanaz. Such. : 04 79 88 89 90.
Le Morainieres restaurant, 1400 Rte de Marestel, 73170 Jongieux. tel. : 04 79 44 09 39.
Auberge Saint-Vincent, locality le Gaz, 73190 Apremont. Such. : 04 79 28 21 85.
L’Orangerie (Château de Candie), 533 Rue du Bois de Candie, 73000 Chambéry. Such. : 04 79 96 63 00.
Maison Vigneronne Bed and Breakfast (Domaine Xavier-Jaqueline), 9 chemin de Saint Simond, 73100 Aix-les-Bains. Such. : 06 76 94 34 16.
La Violette Castle, 137 Route de Myans, 73800 Porte-de-Savoie. Such. : 06 26 48 53 04.
Cottage of the Domaine Les Granges Longes, 401 route de Myans, 73800 Porte-de-Savoie, tel. : 06 84 59 14 80.
Candie Castle ****, 533 Rue du Bois de Candie, 73000 Chambery. Such. : 04 79 96 63 00.
WHERE TO BOOK AN ACTIVITY?
Wine cruise on the Canal de Savière : bateaucanal.com.
VTTAE Jongieux / Chautagne : prolynx-sports.com.
Segway in Chignin : events-et-loisirs.com.