Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Seyssel, the oldest appellation within the eastern French region of savoie producing light, dry, and off-dry white still and sparkling wines from vineyards concentrated on the steep slopes of the upper Rhône valley about 40 km/25 miles downriver of Geneva. Historically, sparkling Seyssel was one of the few Savoie wines to escape the region itself, but since the boisset group closed the historic Varichon et Clerc winery, it has suffered a decline with less than 100 ha/247 acres of vines remaining in the appellation. altesse (still often called Roussette) is the dominant grape variety here, although the local molette is also grown for sparkling wines, which must contain at least 10% Altesse, whose Savoyard roots are said to be here. The sparkling wines need to have a potential alcohol of just 8.5% at harvest and must be bottle fermented in the region. They are light, refreshing, and the best can develop in bottle, but most are drunk locally.