Fridays in France: The Savoie Wine and Cheese Coma

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I spent most of my time touring around the Savoie region in both a wine and dairy coma. We’re talking 6 course French lunches,  tasting 15 different wines at one time and cheese tastings pretty much every hour on the hour. In the above photo I’m just pretending I’m still drinking. By this point I had already passed out in the back of the car after said lunch, unbuttoned my pants and couldn’t stomach one more drop of vino. Weak? Yep, you got it.

Savoie is a place to indulge to say the least. They have so many different kinds of cheeses, they can’t even tell you how many are produced out of the Region! The wine isn’t too well known, especially here in the States. And that’s a shame. The greatest concentration of vineyards close to Chambéry is below the mountain named Mont Granier.  Mont Granier got its abrupt shape from a fatal landslide in the 13th century which buried several villages. The rubble left behind proved fertile ground for growing vines.

The landscape is breathtaking with the mountains (seeing all the way to Mont Blanc in Chamonix on a clear day), the sunsets are gorgeous and the Alpine lakes are abundant. The above photo of the tours de Chignin tower and La tour du clos Saint-Anthelme (the castle-looking structure) are thought to date back to the 8th Century. Can you even wrap your head around that? I can’t.  We so enjoyed touring around with our Mountain and Wine Guide, Bernard and his BFF Barto the Wine Pup. Barto rolled without a leash, ran around the restaurants during lunch like he was a boss and plopped down for a nap whenever he felt like it. If that doesn’t sound like the most perfect life, I don’t know what does.

We were definitely sad to leave Savoie – the people, the hospitality, the food. It was top notch. The only tiny regret we have is not heading to Chamonix. Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Everyone we met along the way, whether in the Savoie or Burgundy Regions, was headed here as part of the trip. So if you head this way, put Chamonix on your list. It looks beyond gorgeous. And how about that cable car!?

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