Located in eastern France, Savoie is characterized by its proximity to a slew of bodies of water and mountains, including Lake Geneva, Lake Annecy, Lake Bourget, and the Alps. The region is neighbored by Switzerland to the East, Jura to the north, and the Rhone river to the west. Savoie’s 2,000 hectares of vineyards are spread across four departments: Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Isere, and Ain. The region experiences an overall continental climate, with alpine and Mediterranean influences. Most vines are planted on mountainsides, ranging up to 1,800 feet above sea level, and although the region can get quite chilly, the large amount of bodies of water present help in moderating climate.
Savoie’s wine output represents less than 1% of France’s total wine production; of this small percent, 70% of production is white, dominated by the Jacquere, Altesse, and Chasselas varieties. Small amounts of Grignet, Marsanne, Molette, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay can also be found. For red wines, Mondeuse and Persan dominate production, with Pinot Noir, Gamay, Poulsard, and small amounts of Cabernet Franc also cultivated. Sparkling wine production is also permitted throughout the region, the most popular of which comes from Bugey. In total, 23 grape varieties are permitted to be grown within the region.
Wines from Savoie tend to be fruit-forward and crisp, showing high acidity and crunchy texture, pairing extremely well with the region’s rich foods, including fondue, raclette, and tartiflette. The region’s whites tend to show notes of citrus, herbs, and minerals, while the reds tend to be lighter-bodied and tart, with red berry, pepper, and earth flavors. Lovers of cheese, skiing, and all things mountain-influenced, this region is not to be missed!