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France's Savoie region 5-day Alpine Food & Wine Tour
“Everywhere in the world I have seen your Chamonix and its glaciers, but nowhere have I come across anything like your Abymes vineyards”. This statement by the great traveler Murchison may sound surprising; yet most of those who have been lucky enough to discover our mountains and our vineyards at the foot of legendary Mount Granier have enthused about the typical and picturesque site.
Every day after hiking in the forest, in the wild alpine pastures and rocks we go down to the foothills of Savoie’s Nature Parks with their colorful history. It is where vineyards grow; these ancestral plants give exceptional wines that have earned recognition in wine-expert international circles (the world convention of sommeliers took place in Savoie in 2000 and the national oenologists congress in June 2006).
A qualified oenologist and mountain guide (the only one in France), who was born in Savoie, offers to take you on a pleasurable tour of the history, beauty and delights of this region. You will see the sights and meet wine-growers, all in a cheerful, friendly atmosphere
The Savoie wines today
In the foothills of the Northern French Alps, vineyards with atypical landscapes and enchanting ancestral vines now produce rare wines that attain the highest levels of quality.
The Savoie region holds the French record of the number of grape varieties used (of which 8 are unique) and the number of cru or vintages which allows the production of all types of wines (from young to ageing wines to late harvest and effervescent and everything in between). Recently, a Savoie Crémant (sparkling Chardonnay) was placed 8th overall in France.
Savoie wines have won the most prestigious awards in many International competitions. Since 2011, 25 renowned tasters of the prestigious American guide Parker have classified Alpine Savoie wines in the "excellence" category. Their comment: "one of the best quality / price ratios in the world”. Even two great French and American presidents have been very fond of them. You will taste wines that will surprise you by their quality, their originality and their rarity.
According to the weather, the program and the schedule may be subject to change.The itineraries are adaptable to your personal hiking level.
Slow Tours offers a number of other Wine Tours in Europe
Arrival in Chambéry.
Lunch in the heart of the medieval city of Chambéry. During the afternoon, guided visit of the Old Town of Chambéry. Chambéry is located right in the heart of the French Alps and has been the historical capital of the Savoie region since the 13th-century. Dinner and night at the selected hotel.
NP La Chartreuse, Pointe de la Gorgeat et Mont Joigny, wine tasting in the vineyards of Chartreuse with a view. From the Mont Granier pass (1134m), we hike to the Gorgeat peak and then to the Mont Joigny (1556m), the view of the Chartreuse mountain range, its highest peaks, the Bourget Lake, the Savoie vineyards and the surrounding Belledonne mountain ranges will amaze you.
Terroir Picnic including the vineyard’s specialty : “Diots” (local pork sausages) marinated and cooked in local red wine, along with food from local producers with wine, coffee and liquor « Vulnéraire de Chartreuse ».
After the hike, we’ll visit the historical “Abymes” and “Apremont” vineyards. A mythical area at the bottom of Mount Granier, where one of the biggest disaster in the Alps occurred (a little more about that later). After a short hike around St André Lake (where you can even jump in for a swim if you like) we’ll visit the famous little church of Myans, a place of pilgrimage since the Black Virgins miracle in 1248. Then we’ll stop in a wonderful spot with a view for a tasting of the famous Crémant of Savoie and other local young/primeur wines (Abymes and Apremont).
Epine mountain range with the Dent du Chat (Cat’s tooth at 1390 m) which over looks the Bourget Lake and the vineyards of Jongieux. A morning of light exercise and an afternoon of tastings. The French like to say “Effort/Récomfort”.
We start out with a hike on the peak of “la Dent du Chat" at 1390m which overlooks the Bourget Lake and offers wonderful 360° views - even on a good day we’ll be able to see the Mont-Blanc - lake to vineyards. We take a ride along a charming road that overlooks the Chevelu lakes and the Rhone River. After all of this exercise we’ll visit the lovely and famous vineyards of Jongieux which has recently been recognized with a special European label for the beauty of its landscapes and you can even jump in to enjoy a swim.
After a terroir picnic on to some more tasting of a famous local wine Marestel Cru.
NP Les Bauges, Les Arêtes de la Savoyarde, la Roche du Guet (1209 m), La Thuile Lake & an awarded cellar. After hiking along the ridge of the Roche du Guet (1209 m) you’ll have the possibility to jump into the Thuile Lake (900 m). We have terroir picnic at the summit of La Savoyarde. Wine tasting of famous and rare Savoie wines in a beautiful vineyards’ cellar. Some of these wines have received the highest awards in France.
Boat trip on the Bourget Lake, Abbaye d'Hautecombe & Aix-les-Bains
Boat cruise on the Bourget Lake, which is the biggest natural lake in France. The lake was dear to the 19’ century romantic poet Alphonse de Lamartine. We stop and visit the Abbaye de Hautecombe, burial place of former Princes and members of the House of Savoie. This is a highly spiritual place, surrounded by magical views, it is totally isolated between the lake and the mountains. A perfect place for a terroir picnic. Then we are ready to set sail back to Aix-les-Bains and drive back to your departure city.
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]