The Bugey, halfway between Lyons and Geneva, is one of the tiniest and most obscure wine areas in France. Although the altitude is modest, the terrain is very mountainous, the roads are steep and winding as in the Alps, and the villages are built for cold winters. The vineyards are hard to detect, little patches here and there on steep slopes looking southeast or southwest, lost in the midst of fields with grazing cows, and dense forests. The total area in vineyards for Bugey is just 170 hectares. Alain Renardat and his son Elie make their Cerdon from Gamay and Poulsard, following the technique called the ”ancestral method”. The grapes are picked by hand, pressed and fermented in cold vats until the alcohol reaches about 6 degrees. After a light filtration that leaves most of the active yeast in the unfinished wine, it is bottled and continues its fermentation in the bottle, reaching about 7.5 or 8 degrees of alcohol and retaining a fair quantity of its original sugar. It is more vinous (with grapey primary aromas) than Champagne, since there is neither dosage nor addition of yeast before the second fermentation.
Domaine Renardat-Fâche Cerdon “l’Initiale”
Domaine Renardat-Fâche Cerdon-du-Bugey
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