At the border of Switzerland and at the foot of the Alps, the Savoie wine region is rich in a history of more than 2,000 years, which allows him today to produce wines renowned for their quality. the Berne Castle presents the Savoy wine region, its history and its characteristics.
History of the Savoie vineyard
From Antiquity, the vine is cultivated in Savoy And makes it possible to produce the first wines, inspired by Greek vinification techniques. But it is mainly in the Middle Ages that the Savoyard vineyard Grows, thanks to the work of the monks, which extend the culture and improve the methods for making wine. Culture is so profitable for small peasants and winegrowers, that Duke Emmanuel Philibert will be forced to establish an edict on the harvest ban, in 1559, in order to promote the harvest of the grapes at maturity. This will be little respected, and the overproduction of Savoy vineyards It will only be resolved at the second half of the 18th century, where the winemaker and peasant professions will be well dissociated.
After 1789 and the Revolution, the vine culture becomes more careful, thanks to the resale of individual vineyards, which then became national property. Viticulture is then more rigorous, and makes it possible to obtain better yields, and better quality wines.
The Savoy wine region However, will not be spared by phylloxera in 1877, and the ravages will be considerable. The Savoyard vine However, took advantage of the grafting on American rootstock, a then innovative technique, which made it possible to massively replant the vine to compensate for the losses.
Subsequently, the Savoy vines will undergo the consequences of the First World War, the great depression of the 1930s, and the Second World War, without however disappearing.
Today, the Savoy vineyards have an important place in the agricultural economy of the region, and focus on favorable terroirs, constant quality.
The geography of the Savoy vineyard
Savoy is a French wine region extends over 4 departments: Savoy, Haute-Savoie, Isère and Ain, and concerns no less than 56 municipalities.
Taking advantage of Hilly and fragmented terroir of the region, the Savoy vineyard Lake Lake Geneva stretches at the Isère valley, coiled on the foothills of the Alps massif. Its distribution forms an arc of a circle beginner in Thonon-les-Bains and ending towards Albertville, in the rise of the Combe de Savoie. He then passed near Lake Geneva, on the left bank of the Rhône, on the banks of Lac du Bourget and in Chambéry.
Planted between 250 and 500 meters above sea level, Savoyard vines Take advantage of the limestone subsoil of the Pre-Alps, as well as the continental and mountain climate, with oceanic and southern influences. The precipitation is then numerous, the summers are very hot, the gel is very present (100 days per year), and the wind is imposing (kiss and crosses).
Savoy grape varieties
the Savoie terroir is of such complexity, that cultivated grape varieties must be able to cope with different climates. We then find 23 grape varieties in Savoy, including 7 unique grape varieties, local grape varieties, and others from neighboring wine regions.
The white grape varieties of Savoy
Savoy wines are particularly recognized for their exceptional white wines. Thus, the winegrowers of Savoy mainly cultivate 7 white grape varieties.
- the Chardonnay ;
- the Gringet, a unique Savoyard grape;
- the chasselas, including the AOC Vin-de-Savoie Crépy, Marignan, Marin and Ripaille come;
- The jacquère, a unique traditional grape of Savoy;
- The white wheel, another unique grape of Savoy, less widespread, which makes it possible to produce the AOC Seyssel;
- The Roussanne (or Bergeron), which enters the composition of the Chignin-Bergeron AOC;
- L'highness, or Roussette, a traditional grape of Savoy.
The black grape varieties of Savoy
Less widespread, but just as sumptuous, the Red Wines of Savoy are made from 4 red grape varieties main.
- the gamay, the most widespread black grape in Savoyard viticulture;
- The world, a unique grape of Savoy which is similar to Syrah;
- the Persian, an old grape variety which is brought up to date by a few winegrowers;
- the Pinot Noir.
The Savoie wine region Allows you to give red wines, white wines and pink wines, vinified in quiet wine, sparkling, and frothy. Generally low in alcohol and slightly acidic, the Savoy wine is lively and light, perfect for accompanying an aperitif or regional cheese dishes.
The appellations of the Savoie wine region
The Savoie wine region has 3 names of controlled origin (AOC), which is then defined by the geographic name of production.
- L'AOC Savoie Where AOC Savoy Wine : Abymes, Arbin, Apremont, Ayze, Chignin, Chautagne, Crépy, Jongieux, Cruet, Marignan, Montmélian, Marin, Ripaille, Saint-Jeoire-Prieuré and Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte;
- L'AOC Roussette de Savoie : Frangy, Monterminod, Marestel, and Monthoux;
- L'AOC Seyssel : Seyssel, Seyssel Mousseux and Seyssel Molette.
The Savoy wine region also has 2 IGP viticultural appellations : them Rhodanian counties and the Allobroges wine.
If you go through Savoy, take the opportunity to discover the gastronomic specialties of the region, to accompany a good Savoy wine glass. The wine route then has great surprises in store for you, which allows you to discover all the Viticultural regions of France.