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Discovering the Wines of Savoie near Mont-Blanc

After a cancelled flight and a missed connection, we finally arrived in the Savoie region of France. We visited Domaine Belluard in Ayse. The predominant grape grown in the vineyards is the indigenous grape Gringet. It is believed that the grape pre-dates the time of the Romans. We tasted an absolutely wonderful Brut made with Gringet as well as another sparkling wine made with Gringet called Brut Zero. This wine did not receive a dosage. There were a couple of still wines tasted also made from Gringet. We noticed the wines made from Gringet were floral with mineral notes and yellow stone fruit. The Brut is a complex sparkling wine. There are several layers of flavors and tastes. Some of the Domaine Belluard wines are available in the US including New York and California.

We walked through the vineyards and toured the winery. Dominique Belluard is concerned with the vineyards this year. The vines are about three weeks behind where they should be at this time of year. That will push the harvest to later in October where rains and hail could pose a problem. Dominique grows ten Hectares of Grenget, almost half of this grape’s plantings in Savoie. In the winery several amphora are in different rooms next to stainless steel tanks. However the pride of the winery is a collection of egg-shaped cement tanks. A separate room is filled with these cement tanks. This is the largest collection of these tanks that we have seen at any winery. Dominique would like to eventually replace the stainless steel tanks with the egg-shaped cement tanks.

We spent a relaxing, leisurely afternoon visiting with Dominique and his wife Valerie. This was a perfect afternoon following a difficult itinerary of travel from the east coast to France. For the next couple days we are resting in the beautiful French country-side.


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