Domaine Eugène Carrel Jongieux Vin de Savoie Blanc
The farmland of Eugène Carrel & Fils has been in the family since 1830, but it was not until 1946 that Célestin Carrel, Eugène’s father, returned from a prisoner of war camp and decided to begin the slow transition into cultivating grape vines.
The village of Jongieux lies on the western slopes of the Mont du Chat mountain ridge, about 40 miles southwest of Geneva, Switzerland, and overlooks the Rhône river as it winds its way down to the Rhone Valley in the south. The surrounding “Cru” (a designated vineyards zone) of Jongieux covers five different communes, making it the largest of the Vin de Savoie crus. Despite their proximity to the Swiss Alps, the climate is surprisingly warm; Jongieux enjoys 2-3 more hours of sun than any other area in the Savoie. Consequently, despite the cool climate, the fruit reaches a phenolic ripeness which results in wines that are balanced and fresher than their regional counterparts. Ripening in the vineyards of Jongieux is further aided by the rocky limestone soils, which absorb heat during the day and warm the vines overnight. The radical slope of most vineyards provides good natural drainage. The soil in Jongieux is often so thin that it is not unusual for the vines to be planted straight into the rock with the aid of a pick-axe.
The Jongieux Blanc is made entirely from the native Jacquère grape and exemplifies Hugh Johnson’s characterization of this varietal: “you are drinking bottled mountain air.” High acid, low alcohol, and clean minerality makes Vin de Savoie the perfect accompaniment to the region’s many cheeses, as well as fantastic seafood wine. One of our favorite styles for Summer evenings or even a picnic lunch. If you’ve never had wines from the Savoie, this is the perfect time to try one!