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Expert’s choice: Savoie

This beautiful pre-Alpine region is home to a surprising wealth of sub-regions and grape varieties, making its wines a voyage of discovery – from fresh sparklers and crisp whites to ageworthy reds.

The tiny Savoie wine region in eastern France seems to have everything going for it: a range of indigenous grapes; light, acidity-driven wines; ambitious, young producers; and those chocolate-box images of steep vineyards, with a backdrop of snow-capped Alpine peaks.

Scroll down for a selection of Savoie wines to try

On a map, its 2,100ha of vineyards appear scattered in islands or clumps, stretching from the southern shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) to just south of Chambéry.

Many vineyards lie on steep, limestone-based slopes above glacial river valleys; others benefit from the warming influence of nearby large Alpine lakes like Léman and Lac du Bourget, or lie high above the banks of the Rhône. Surprisingly, the altitude is not that high, with few vineyards reaching 500m. They lie mostly between 250m-440m, similar to Alsace, Jura or Burgundy’s Hautes Côtes. Yet the mountain weather systems play a big part, bringing welcome cool nights in summer, but unwelcome storms.

Tasting notes and scores for 18 Savoie wines to try

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