The excitement for Le Tour de France continues as Bauke Mollema takes his first ever Tour stage win! The race ended in Culoz, classified in the Ain department in France, a small village in the heart of the Bugey AOC where vines were first planted by the Romans, then the monks in the 16th century. This AOC sits at the southern end of the Jura mountain chain and has Jura/Burgundy to the north, Savoie to the east, Rhone to the south, and Beaujolais to the west. The Rhone river loops around the area, giving the region plenty of moisture. It was given VDQS status in 1958 and became an appellation in 2009. The vines in the area suffered greatly with the invasion of phylloxera in 1875, setting the region’s winemaking economy back quite a few decades. Historically, Bugey was a part of Burgundy and today is often confused as being part of Savoie or Jura. The designations in this 500 hectare AOC are numerous and are made up by 63 provinces within: AOC Bugey, AOC Bugey Manicle (100% Chard for white, 100% Pinot Noir for red), AOC Bugey Montagnieu (100% Mondeuse noir for red, 70% Altesse for sparkling since 2009), AOC Roussette de Bugey (100% Altesse), AOC Roussette de Bugey Montagnieu, AOC Roussette de Bugey Virieu-le-Grand, AOC Bugey Musseux ou Petillant, AOC Bugey Mousseux ou Petillant Cerdon, AOC Bugey Mousseux ou Petillant Montagnieu, and AOC Bugey Mousseux ou Petillant Blanc or Rose. The soils in the area are generally calcareous, with ammonites and other fossilized sea mollusks. There are sections of Jurassic clay limestone bedrock, too. The climate is semi-continental with hot, wet summers and cold winter. As a whole, the wines are elegant, aromatic, with high acid and low alcohol. There are a few exceptions, but whites generally must contain 50% Chardonnay with permitted accessory grapes being Aligote, Altesse, Jacquere, Pinot Gris, Mondeuse blanche. Roses must be 50% Gamay or Pinot Noir with accessory grapes Mondeuse Noir, Pinot Gris, and Poulsard. The reds must be made from Gamay, Pinot Noir, or Mondeuse Noir. The Sparkling wines must be 70% Chardonnay or Jacquere, with accessory grapes Mondeuse Blanche, Pinot Gris, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Mondeuse noir and Poulsard. For those seeking out interesting, elegant wines, this region is for you! For more information on our wine classes and tastings, visit us on our website to see our current listings of events!