Wines of the French Alps by Wink Lorch

We have previously reviewed the ground-breaking book by Wink Lorch about the Jura region of France and the wonderful wines and producers found there.

Now she has moved somewhat south to the extensive Savoie region that extends from Mont Blanc to the plains of the Diois river, to cover the still obscure grapes, wines and producers that are little known outside the region.

We only have one producer in this region, namely Dominique Belluard, who works with the little known Gringet variety to produce elegant, delicious wines.

Dominique Belluard’s Le Feu vineyard near Ayze

We love visiting Dominique and walking through vineyards like his steep, high altitude Le Feu vineyard where are fitness (or lack of it) is laid bare. After the visit we take one of the stunning, scenic routes back towards Lyon or further south such as the A41 which takes us to Annecy which sits on the northern edge of the beautiful Lac d’Annecy and then on to Grenoble passing the Massif des Bauges and the Massif de Chartreuse and onto the plains around Châtillon de Diois where the walnut trees meet the olive trees from Provence to the south.

This is the area that Wink Lorch covers in minute detail. The book is divided into four main parts with Part 1 covering the history of the French Alpine wine regions and the people who have influenced the development of wine across the region.

Part 2 covers the appellations, terroir, grape varieties, how the wines are made including a special section on the sparkling wines that this region is so proud of. Grapes such as Gringet, Persan, Jacquère, Altesse, Mondeuse, Gamay, Verdesse, Etraire de la Dui, Mollard, Arvine and many more.

Part 3 is the largest section entitled Places and People and includes a regional survey examining the wines of the Savoie, Isère, Bugey, Clairette de Die, Le Diois and the Haute-Alpes as well as the producers in each of these areas. Natural producers such as Dominique Belluard, Dominique Lucas, Domaine Curtet, Domaine Giachino, Jean-Yves Péron and Domaine Renardat-Fâche feature prominently.

Part 4 covers the tourist highlights of the area including places that she recommends that you visit.

This is a very detailed book that is a great introduction to this spectacular region.

You can buy the book by clicking on the link below. Note that we receive a small commission for each book from Amazon.