Posts Tagged ‘skiin’
The Savoie region of France is perhaps best known for skiing, stunning snow-covered scenery and tartiflette. Wine is not the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of the French Alps. However, this tiny wine-growing area (around 1,700 hectares), produces some surprisingly good wines.
Naturally, the French ski resorts provide the main market for the local wine industry, although wine tourism is still virtually unheard of. It is relatively straightforward to visit some of the local producers for a tasting, and enjoy the beautiful views across the vineyards to the mountains beyond, at any time of the year.
If skiing is your first love and you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the slopes, then you may still have sampled many of the local vintages. The mountain restaurants offer a wide variety of wines, great after a busy morning on the pistes, but not always of the best quality.
Over two thirds of wine production in the Savoie is given over to white wine, either dry or fruity, mostly made from the Jacquere grape, with the Altesse variety also widespread. These whites are excellent as an aperitif, and also the perfect partner for fish dishes, raclettes and fondues. For red wine, Gamay, Mondeuse and Persan grapes are all worth a try. Wine producers in the area have been working hard to improve consistency of quality so that it’s not such a hit and miss affair, and this has paid off, particularly in the case of Mondeuse, which has improved markedly from the days of being a light, easy red of variable quality.
Most Jacquère vintages are best drunk within two years, but some Altesse and Bergeron varieties age superbly, as do the Mondeuse reds, which have been improved in recent years to accommodate oak ageing.
For an in-depth wine travel guide of the region, Wink Lorch is an expert source of knowledge and expertise, having written extensively and widely acknowledged as an expert in the field. With an enviable lifestyle of living in the French alps and tasting lots of wines, she really knows her stuff.
So, if you happen to be browsing French ski chalet holidays, why not plan some time for visiting some of the vineyards or sampling the best of the local wines, perhaps at one of the better restaurants in your resort, or in the comfort of a luxury ski chalet?