- On August 21, 2018
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system in Europe and cross eight Alpine countries: France, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia. The altitude and climate vary drastically across the Alps creating a diverse landscape for the varied plants, animals, and grape varietals. Farming, forestry, and tourism are the main sources of income in this area. There is a strong cheese making tradition to accompany wine making and with the breadth of flora that grows in these areas there are plenty of Alpine liqueurs (we have a few on the shelf!).
Logistically, wine growing at high altitude can be a difficult, yet rewarding task. Water, electricity, and roads can be hard to engineer and maintain. Steep, rocky terrain can be hard to develop. It can be presumed that winemakers in these regions must be a stubborn bunch, but their steadfast dedication can also produce some amazing wines. The main Alpine wine regions you’ll find on the shelves are: Jura, Savoie, and Bugey in France (some consider them to be in sub-alpine mountain regions); Valle D’Aosta, Trentino-Alto Adige in Italy; Valais, Vaud, Neuchatel; Switzerland, and Brda in Slovenia. You can find classic varietals from these regions like Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc, along with dozens of indigenous varietals such as Mondeuse, Jacquere, Chasselas, Lagrein and more. Because of the higher altitude and cooler temperatures both reds and whites tend to be lighter bodied with higher acid and plenty of minerality. Ask for an Alpine wine next time you come in and try something new!