The Savoie region must be one of the most beautiful wine regions in France, and sadly often overlooked. Where else will you find snow capped mountains, rolling hills, wild streams and plentiful wildflowers surrounding your vineyards?
Andre & Michel Quenard farm 22 hectares of very steep, terraced vineyards around Chignin. Andre’s grandfather started the domaine in 1930’s, slowly buying small vineyards to increase production. Most of the wine was sold off in bulk, to satisfy the thirsty drinkers in the nearby ski resorts. It was only when Michel’s father, Andre, realised the potential of the Savoie that the domaine started bottling the wines with their name on.
They are not the only Quenard family in the Savoie, but certainly the most famous. It’s not just the quality of the wines they can thank for this; Andrew Jefford waxed lyrical about them in his book The New France and they quickly became hot property.
The vineyards, despite the mountainous location, enjoy a warm microclimate. There are 16 crus in the Savoie, each famous for a different grape variety. Here we focus on three, the Jacquere, Gamay and Mondeuse. Everything is hand harvested. The Jacquere is a dry white aged in stainless steel for 9 months with gentle lees stiring. The Monduese is aged in foudre for one year, with maceration lasting 12 to 15 days. They include some grapes that are whole-cluster to add some structure and tannin.
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