"The bottle doesn't matter, as long as you get drunk!" wrote Alfred de Musset. At Les Balcons, if we love Belles Lettres, we do not subscribe to the opinion of the great poet on the subject! Here, winegrowers and brewers share the same quality standards. While some of our brewers receive national medals as a reward for meticulous work in developing the delicate mousses, the wine from the “Balmes Dauphinoises” winegrowers has benefited from Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) since 2011. Some of them even have the privilege of seeing their precious beverage served on starred tables in internationally renowned restaurants. And then drunkenness Alfred, you do not think about it! It's time for moderation...
When the wine is drawn...
Let it be said, the culture of wine is ancestral to Saint-Chef since it was the Benedictine monks who imported it from the Middle Ages. Since 2011, with the creation of the IGP, five wine estates in this southern part of the Balcons du Dauphiné territory have benefited from it: Domaine Nicolas Gonin, Domaine Noël Martin, Domaine Re-naissance and La Cave de La ran to Saint-Chef itself; and Domaine Meunier in Sermérieu.
Saint-Chef and the culture of wine, a lasting story…
Saint-Chef in IGP
Since well before 2011, the Saint-Cheffois vineyard has been able to enter into a new dynamic thanks to qualitative selection work on native grape varieties and a reasoned approach to wine aging with organic or even biodynamic farms. This PGI is driven by new societal consumer trends that favor short circuits and environmental impact.
Saint-Chef on his draft horse
Happy who, like Ulysse, has had a great trip… Yes, but in Saint-Chef, Ulysse is the workhorse who works (in the company of Aurélia) the soils of the “Les Caves de La Courna” winery. And while Ulysses tows, sheep and poultry fertilize and clean. Result of the races: exceptional cuvées rewarded in particular in 2017 by a gold medal for Chardonnay at the Saint-Chef wine fair.
Saint-Chef and his traveling distiller
If the vintage distillers of yesteryear are no longer numerous, Serge Perticoz, a traveling distiller in Saint-Chef still perpetuates the family tradition. And, the show around the still is always a great moment of conviviality. Serge distils the many fruits of his estate which will be transformed after maceration into eau-de-vie, marc de pays or guignolet... An alchemist, this Serge!
Discovering the abbey city of Saint-Chef…
The history of Saint-Chef is closely linked to that of its Benedictine abbey, listed as a Historic Monument since 1840 for its Romanesque church, one of the oldest in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The 3th century frescoes in the Chapel of the Angels alone constitute a national treasure. There would be so much to say about this village where the illustrious father of San Antonio, Frédéric Dard, is buried… The best thing is to stop there for a guided tour on Sundays in season! You can also download the "Saint-Chef" app for an immersive XNUMXD visit, or stop by the Tourist Office a few steps from the abbey to get a free visit map!
Beers that roll at the Balconies
No one will say the opposite: beer is festive! And at Les Balcons, we're not the last for conviviality and celebration, so three brasseries on the territory: not even afraid! The oldest is located in the heart of the medieval town of Crémieu, in a former Ursuline convent, hence its name: “La Brasserie des Ursulines”. As for the second, it is about two childhood friends, passionate about hopped beverages who made the bet to install their small organic brewery "La Brasserie du Palais" at a place called Le Palais - it's not invented not ! – in the charming village of Optevoz. The third and most recent of all simply bears the name of the hamlet in which it is located in La Balme-les-Grottes: "L'Échopp' de Travers".
The Brasserie des Ursulines in Crémieu
This place has become, for more than ten years now, "the place to be" in Crémieu! Firstly, because the beer is good there and that's what we ask in priority from a brewery, an artisanal one at that. Then because it is a heritage place that the brewing activity has brought back to life. And finally, because the master of the place, Olivier Bourgaud, has found the right balance to offer an eclectic and unifying entertainment program. It's all a matter of dosage… Just like making a good beer!
The Brasserie du Palais in Optevoz
Once upon a time there were two childhood friends who had a common passion: beer. They had sworn to each other, wooden crosses, iron crosses, that one day they would know how to concoct good beers in a place of their own. You have to believe that the Houblon fairy leaned over their barrels since their childhood dream has come true. The Brasserie du Palais is located in an old farmhouse where Guillaume Lecoin and Maxime Humbert concoct fabulous beers whose ingredients come from Organic Farming and are local as much as possible. Ethics friends!
The Échopp' de Travers in La Balme-les-Grottes
Ideally located on the passage of the ViaRhôna in the village of Balme-les-Grottes, the Échopp' de Travers, the last installed on our territory, is a micro-brewery which not only offers a varied range of beers as we like them (amber, brut IPA, blond, white…) but also homemade products which are just right when it's aperitif time: tapenade, pepper, hummus… Appetizer platters are also available for tasting. The relaxation stop is all the more delicious!
To consume with moderation !
Drinking well is necessarily accompanied by eating well...
Local, good, organic, you will find all four villages! Goat cheeses, free-range pig farms (yes there are still some!), fruits, vegetables, cereals… The list is very long. So, download the map of producers at Les Balcons: there will necessarily be what you are looking for!