With only 130 hectares in production, the vines of the Haute-Alpes are a mere micro-vineyard in global terms, but have their rightful place in the diversity of French wines
Wines of Altitude
Our vines are situated at between 600 and 1000 metres altitude. Our vineyards therefore begin where most others stop!
This specific geographical situation and the resulting wide thermal amplitude temper the southern influences that are already perceptible in our region, and confer superb freshness on our wines.
They say that global warming means that it will be the mountainous areas that will produce the great wines of tomorrow….and that doesn’t surprise us at all !
The great majority of our vines are planted on the hillsides that plunge down to the river Durance and in the Avance Valley. And that didn’t happen by chance. It is here that the vine growing heritage has best been preserved because these are the terroirs that are best adapted to vine culture. The grapes benefit from maximum sunshine exposure which, combined with the altitude and an outstanding diversity of soils, allows the winemakers of the Hautes-Alpes to produce high quality wines
A long tradition
“Wine in the Hautes-Alpes?!” Visitors unfamiliar with the region are often surprised when they discover our wines. And yet vine growing is a tradition here that goes back to ancient Roman times …
which indicates just to what extent wine forms part of the history and culture of the southern Alps!
To the north of the department, above the village of Argentière, the site of La Vignette bears witness to the region’s vine growing past. Here, small parcels of vines surrounded by ancient drystone walls known as “restanques” culminate at 1,300 metres altitude.
Wiped out during the Phylloxera epidemic at the beginning of the 20th century, they were restored in the year 2000 by a group of enthusiasts, and are today considered to be the highest vines in the French Alps.
Original grape varieties
Our vineyards are still planted with some of their historic grape varieties, and that is one of their great attractions. In the Hautes-Alpes you can find ancient and extremely rare grapes such as Mollard (which means “Little Mountain”) which is the emblematic variety of our region, and also Espanenc. They offer consumers in search of new experiences wines that are unique and original.
But a great variety of “international” varieties can also be found in the vineyards of the Hautes-Alpes. Great classics like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier, and many more …