Wine Savoie et Bugey

Savoie and its white wines with a mountain spirit. Lively and light, they go wonderfully well with all cheese-based dishes, while reds will sublimate charcuterie. Ideal with regional gastronomy! The Savoie wine appellation produces well-kept treasures that particularly enhance the typical cuisine of the region from which they come. Read more on Savoie et Bugey
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Region Savoie et Bugey

Savoie honours white wines

The Savoie vineyard is one of the smallest vineyards in France. It covers about 2300 hectares and four departments; Namely, Savoie with 1880 hectares of vineyards, Haute-Savoie with 142 hectares, Ain with 79 hectares and Isère with 169 hectares. Its production is 125,000 hectolitres per year on average. This region offers us all types of wines: red, rosé, white, sparkling and semi-sparkling.

However, it is easier to find white wine which represents 80% of the Savoyard production. Indeed, this mountainous region does not allow all the grape varieties to resist the rather difficult climatic conditions. It is very hilly and the climate is harsh. Little known, the vineyard of Savoy<:strong> makes a place little by little in the French and international wine world. Today on the tables of the most prestigious restaurants, the wines of Savoie are recognizable by their fine and fruity aromas.

White wines will thus have fruit and white flower aromas while red wines will be tannic and colourful. The diversity of wines produced in Savoie causes an equally present diversity in the aromas and characteristics of the wines. They will be associated with the local gastronomy but also with the most refined dishes. Similarly, a great many cheeses will be undeniable allies of white wines of Savoie. This is a wine region that is earning its reputation for the richness of its grape varieties and the quality of its wines.

Small history of Savoy vineyards

Wine in the Savoy region has a very, very long history. Indeed, fossilised grapes have been discovered dating back to the Neolithic period. So it is indeed a land conducive to viticulture and has been since the dawn of time. In ancient times, the vin poissé, a wine from the region created from a new, very resistant grape variety, was recognised throughout the country. The naturalist Pliny the Elder spoke of this wine as a production of great quality. In the Middle Ages, the production of vin de messe was at its peak in the region. The vineyards were mainly maintained by monks. The Cistercians were in the majority at the time. In the 13th century, Mont Garnier collapsed and caused an unprecedented disaster in the region. Despite the sadness of this situation due to the loss of life, this collapse will be the premise of a bright future for the Savoyard vines.

In the early modern era the wines produced were of mediocre quality and sold only to peasants. But five centuries after the collapse of Mont Garnier, in the 18th century, winegrowers decided to plant vines on the scree and land created by the collapse. It is here that will be created exceptional crus of the region: the Abymes and Apremont. It should be noted that Savoy was annexed to France in 1860 by the Treaty of Turin. And this is just a quick sample of the history of the Savoie vineyards to help you understand the importance of winegrowing over the centuries.

Characteristics of the Savoie wine region

Savoie is a magnificent region of mountains, valleys and hills where greenery dominates. Nature is at the forefront and each plot of land in the region is a jewel box of diverse flora and fauna. Between plains and mountains, the Savoie region offers the vines mostly stony soils, due to major erosion, such as alluvial soils, moraine and scree cones. It is this terroir that will give the wines their particular typicity.

The climate is continental and mountainous, so it is a fairly harsh climate with very cold winters. The geographical situation of the region places Savoie at the heart of oceanic influences in the north and Mediterranean influences in the south. The climate is therefore very variable and unstable. Frosts are very frequent (about 100 days of frost per year) and the humidity rate is quite high with an average of 1030 mm of rainfall per year. Thunderstorms are numerous and are due to the confrontation of the north and south winds. However, the sunshine remains positive with hot summers and almost 2000 hours of sunshine each year.

This is why there is a great diversity of wines, the winegrowers trying to find the most resistant vines to this very particular climate. These are mostly planted on hillsides and on the southern slopes of the various mountains. The yield is very different from one wine to another. There is no logical average. The Savoie region therefore has very particular and somewhat difficult characteristics which make its wines all the more respectable and worth tasting.

Savoy grape varieties

The winegrowers of the Savoie region use a great many grape varieties. They adapt to the geological and meteorological characteristics of the region to offer us all types of wines. There are currently 23 of them. Here are some of them.


The jacquère is the most common grape variety in the region and accounts for 50% of the vineyard. It produces fresh white wines with a pale colour and aromas of white flowers.

Altesse or roussette

Altesse or roussette accounts for 10% of the vineyard area. This variety is ideal for sloping soils and produces supple wines with spicy and fruity aromas that can be kept for several years.


The Chasselas offers us white wines with notes of butter and toast. It represents 5% of the vineyard and is mostly located around Lake Geneva.


The Roussanne produces white wines with powerful fruity aromas and a touch of honey.

The Mondeuse

For red wines, we will find the Mondeuse which occupies 12% of the vineyard. It offers us tannic and coloured wines with aromas of spices and in particular pepper that age very well.

The Gamay

The Gamay grape variety itself covers about 15% of the vineyard area. It produces wines that are very fragrant with fruity notes.

The Persian

The Persan, originally a grape variety of the bishops of Maurienne, is used in Savoie to create full-bodied wines with very marked aromas. It is used to make wines for ageing.

Savoy appellations

There are only three Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C) in the Savoie wine region.

Roussette de Savoie

The Roussette de Savoie appellation is the region's second largest in production with an average of 10,000 hectolitres per year. It offers us a white wine of great finesse. It covers about 50 hectares in the towns of Frangy, Monthoux, Marestel and Monterminod, along the banks of the Rhône. These are the only town names allowed to be added behind the original appellation.

The roussette grape variety, which is the origin of the name of this A.O.C is obligatory in the making of Roussette de Savoie white wines. We can add Chardonnay and Mondeuse but Roussette must remain the majority. It is this grape variety that gives the white wine its finesse and its taste so particular to the aromas of dried fruit and wild flowers.

The Roussette de Savoie white wines have a golden straw colour. On the nose, we notice aromas of dried fruits for a fresh wine. On the palate, the wine appears lively and it holds up for a long time. It is an ideal appellation to enjoy with fish or strong soft cheeses.

The Seyssel

The Seyssel appellation, A.O.C. since 1942, represents 5% of the region's production with about 4,000 hectolitres per year. It takes its name from the town of Seyssel. This appellation is produced on 80 hectares between 200 and 400 meters of altitude along the Rhone between Ain and Haute-Savoie. Seyssel offers us white wines of character with accents of flowers, iris in particular and a sparkling wine.

The wines produced are made from a single grape variety, Altesse, also called Roussette. It gives the wines floral and fruity aromas. To the eye, the colour of these white wines is straw yellow with green highlights. For sparkling wines, the bubbles are fine and persistent. One denotes fruity and floral fragrances with an accent on violets.

On the palate, Seyssel wines are slow and discreet but very balanced. You notice a certain roundness after a few seconds. You can enjoy them with your cooked dishes such as quiches and risottos.

The Savoy Wine

The Vin de Savoie appellation is the main appellation of the region. It covers 1800 hectares and extends over 28 communes. This A.O.C offers us white wines but also red wines, rosés and sparkling wines. Sixteen denominations of communes can be associated with the A.O.C. Vin de Savoie.

The grape varieties most used for white wines, which represent 70% of production, are Jacquère, Altesse and Roussanne. For reds and rosés, the Gamay, Mondeuse and Pinot noir are used instead. The red wines stand out with a purple robe with black highlights. One can smell aromas of red fruits and spicy nuances.

As for the white wines, they offer us a pale colour with straw gold reflections. The nose is very identified not scents of exotic fruits and white flowers. In the mouth, the grape variety used will modify the experience. For example, red wines made from the Mondeuse grape are charpent and very aromatic. White wines made from the Jacquère grape are light and fresh.

The diversity of wines on offer provokes numerous wine and food pairings. Strong formages and dishes in sauce will be ideal accompaniments.

Good to know


Listed 600 winemakers


160 million bottles per year (88.5% rosé, 8% red, 3.5% white)



Soil and subsoil

Almost exclusively stony soil, a little limestone and schist

Grape variety

Reds and rosés : 4 red varieties: Mondeuse, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Persan. But the Savoy wines also continue to use some rare grape varieties, such as Mondeuse Blanche, Malvoisie or Molettte

Whites : Five white grape varieties are distinguished by their quality: Jacquère, Roussette (also known as Altesse), Chasselas, Gringet and Bergeron (the local Chignin name for Roussane)

Savoie et Bugey appellations


Crémant de Savoie

Mousseux de Savoie

Pétillant de Savoie

Vin-de-Savoie Chignin

Vin-de-Savoie Chignin-Bergeron

Vin-de-Savoie Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte

Vin-de-Savoie Saint-Jeoire-Prieuré