Domaine Blanc et Fils Apremont "Willy"

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If you're a fan of crisp, fresh white wines, light spicy reds, and super-clean Rosé, wines from the Savoie will be in your wheelhouse!

Tucked away in eastern France, nestled on the Swiss and Italian borders, the Savoie (pronounced sav-wah) is best known as one of Europe's favorite winter sports playgrounds. Wines produced in this Alpine region rarely make it out of the area. Historically, they were consumed mainly by the local population and the hordes of thirsty tourists annually drawn to the ski slopes. Local winemakers would joke that any wine that made it past Lyon was considered an export!

Until recently, the region was best known in France for exporting vines, not wine — twenty to thirty million plants are grown annually by nurseries in the Savoie. Over the last twenty years, wine-importing pioneers like Kermit Lynch and Charles Neal successfully introduced wines from the Savoie to the American market. These wines were primarily available in small quantities and usually only found in major metropolitan areas.

I'm happy to report that Kate Stamps, owner of Asheville's Rise over Run Imports and former AWM Staff Member, now tops that list of wine-importing pioneers, in my estimation. Kate and her import company provide Asheville with a superb collection of wines imported directly from the Savoie. Her selections are gorgeous examples of small-production hand-crafted wines and are the finest examples from the Savoie I've encountered during my career.

Apremont is a tiny dot of a wine region in the French Alps just south of Chambéry in the Savoie. The stony slopes and hillsides here feature classic Alpine marl and clay-limestone soils, ideal for viticulture.
Despite the region's steep slopes and higher altitudes, the climate here is remarkably suitable for vineyards. Southeastern exposure and the moderating influence of the Savoie's lakes and rivers combine to temper the local microclimate, allowing grapes to ripen for both white and red wines. Jacquère is the white wine star of the Savoie, and Domaine Willy Blanc is one of the region's standout vignerons.

The wines from Domaine Blanc are about as close as you can get to buying your wine directly from the producer. Kate sources these gems directly from Willy Blanc, a winegrower and owner of the best wine shop in the Savoie. We're talking about the epitome of Local-Global -- a local Asheville importer (Kate) sources wine from a small independent producer in France (Domaine Willy Blanc) and sells wine to a local independent wine shop (AWM). This is how we like to do business!

This crisp, fresh white is your perfect introduction to the Savoie. Notes of citrus, melon, and white-fleshed fruits all dance around a core of Alpine minerality, herbs, and floral notes. This superbly fashioned and super complex white is a natural for seafood, poultry, and casual enjoyment.

If you love Sauvignon Blanc, you'll love Domaine Blanc Apremont!

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