Like island wine, mountain wine is pretty easy to define. These bottles come to us from mountainous regions, often at high elevations, whether in Vermont or the Italian Alps.
The throughline is less of a flavor and more of geography and culture— one characterized by mountains that bloom in the summer and succumb to snow in the winter, becoming a playground for thrill seekers and nature lovers.
At Dedalus, we have a particular affinity for these places. Mountains ring our locations in Vermont and Colorado, so we see these wines as a chance to pay tribute to the stunning mountain landscapes we call home.
Where to Find Mountain Wine
At the very northern tip of Italy, butting up against Austria, is Alto Adige. Being right on the border means you’ll find some German words in the local traditions, and also varieties you’d typically associate with Austria and Germany. The main grapes here are Teroldego, Grüner Veltliner, Kerner, and Gewürstraminer. Some of our favorite producers in this area are Furlani, Mani Nossing, and Foradori.
Savoie and Bugey
We’re grouping Bugey in with Savoie because it’s so tiny, and because of their proximity. It’s in the Eastern portion of France, near the border with Switzerland, nestled in the foothills of the Auverne-Rhône-Alpes region. Most of the wines here are white: Jacquère, Altesse, Roussane, and Chasselas among them. But they also produce red wines with Mondeuse and Gamay, among others. Some of our favorite producers in Savoie are Belluard, Quenard, and Cotes Rousse, and Bottex in neighboring Bugey with their delicious sparkling rosé.
The Jura is also in Eastern France, between Burgundy and Switzerland. Being so close to Burgundy, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are abundant, but there’s also Savignin, Trousseau, and Poulsard. Here you’ll also find rich winemaking traditions like Vin Juane — or yellow wine. It’s oxidative white made from Savignin that is unlike anything else. Some of our favorite producers in the Jura are Pelican, Ganevat, and Rousset Martin.
Right between Germany and France, Alsace is a collision of cultures, and shows the influence of both language and architectural styles. The main grapes are Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, Riesling, and Pinot Noir. Some of our favorite producers from this region are Boxler, Ostertag, and Kuentz Bas.
In Vermont, winemaking history is just getting started. Here, winemakers are perfecting the vinification of hybrid grapes like Marquette, La Crescent, Frontenac, and St. Croix. Some of our favorite producers in the Green Mountain State are Ellison, Garagista, Iapetus, Fable Farm, Stella14, La Montanuela, and Disciple.
We believe that what grows together, goes together. And that philosophy applies to more than food. We love to pair wine from these regions with traditional mountain activities like après ski. It’s a way to stay connected to both tradition and place through a great bottle of wine.