I often wonder why more vignerons don’t experiment with the Savoyard grape Jacquère, especially in colder regions. Here’s a grape that thrives on steep slopes, is hardy enough to survive freezing winters, and gives aromatic white wines as bracing as a glacier-fed stream. Michel Quenard’s Vieilles Vignes bottling, from seventy-year-old vines, has a dazzling floral aroma, like the first flowers of spring pushing up through the last snow of winter.
The Savoie is a picture of fairy-tale perfection: snow-capped peaks, rolling hills, and sparkling mountain streams. This idyllic region is where Michel Quenard farms twenty-two hectares of vineyards along the steep slopes around Chignin. His grandfather started the domaine in the 1930s. Though he slowly increased his vineyard holdings, he mostly sold off his wine. It wasn’t until 1960 that Michel’s father, André, began bottling under their own label. Michel joined the domaine in 1976. Today, he is joined by his sons, Guillaume and Romain. Their cuvées go beyond the simple “eclectic” that categorizes wines from Savoie; they are unique revelations that reflect the complexity of their terroir and the artistry of this master.
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