For the last six years Vins de Savoie, this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of becoming an AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée), have organised the annual La Balade Gourmande dans les Vignes in a different wine region within Savoie. We were invited to join a group of journalists to accompany more than 2000 other participants on a very hot Sunday in July.
We walked through the vineyards of Abymes in the lee of the dramatic Mont Granier which, in 1248, split asunder killing about many people as landslides and huge rocks cascaded down the mountain, dramatically changing the geology and landscape.
The nine kilometre walk started by the pretty Lac St André, one of many small lakes caused by the disaster. We were bussed up into the heart of the vineyards so that we could walk down, for most of the way, back to the lake through the vines and small villages.
The special treat on this walk were the seven stages where we could pause and enjoy delicious food prepared by Michael Arnoult, two-star chef of the restaurant Les Morainières, accompanied by the wines of Abymes.
Here are some photos of our day in the vineyards together with my very personal video of the walk in the vines!
Collecting our glass, and spoon!
Sometimes there was some shade…
First stop – snails and Abymes!
Graciously served by one the many volunteers
Escargot du pays, petits pois et ail des ours
There were lots of informative signs along the way
loos in the vines
Explanations too – here the geology
Time for another stop
a glass of wine
Girolles, noisettes, sablé croquant et bouillon beurré – with rosé d’Abymes, of course!
Mont Granier is always there
The landscape is littered with huge rocks from the 1248 landslide
An old school
Dancing girls too!
Another refreshing pause
Lavaret du Lac du Bourget, quinoa et sabayon d’écrevisses
Beehives amongst the vines
Fortunately, the grim reaper took a day off…
Wink had time to pose
whilst the cat-like pylons bestrode some of the vines
Le trou savoyard – sorbet et eau de vie de poire – by la distillerie ambulante
Sarto – small buildings housing a wine press and cellar in the heart of the vines
And there was music…
Time for the main course
Quasi de veau, jus de Mondeuse, parfum de thym sauvage
La Pierre hachée – a huge rock that split in half when landed
On the homeward stretch
Very young grapes
Wink tried to drive this old Renault tractor…
whilst I considered a bath with Ricard…
A monument to the vine?
We bypassed the cheese stop as the queue was too long
but admired the views over to another Savoie region, Chignin
All too soon we were back by the lake
Crème légère miel de sapin, fraise du pays et crumble with Abymes sparkling
Charm in the heart of the vines!
Do have a look at my video of our walk:
Thank you, les Vignerons d’Abymes, for organising a great day out amongst the vines!