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Raise a Glass in the Alps

Raise a Glass in the Alps

Head to the Névache or the Ubaye valleys to taste the fine craft beers of the Alps. If you’re more of an oenophile, the region’s high-altitude wines are sure to delight. To finish, drink up the bold flavours of Alpine nature with a glass of génépy.

Care for a beer?

The Alps are Brewing

In the last few years, stouts, lagers and ambers from the Southern Alps have made a name for themselves. Let’s start with La Castagna in Tende, the pride of one of the smallest breweries in France. Its brewer, Alain Simon, makes only 50 litres per brew. In Vallouise, Lionel Alphand – the brother of French skiing champion, Luc – crafts Alphand beer with the water of the Blassac spring. In summer, you can enjoy it at the bar and the restaurant on the village square. Are you a plant lover? Don’t miss the La Tourmente beers of the Brasserie des Grands Cols. Some are flavoured with thyme or génépy. Still thirsty? Discover the beers from the Vallée de Névache, Taste them at the Chevalier Barbu brewery-café, in Névache. Or try La Sauvage, brewed in Ubaye.

Long Live Wine

And Neglected Grape Varieties

The French Southern Alps brims with intriguing wine. Among them, Domaine Allemand’s bottles stand out. Former TV journalist, Laetitia Allemand decided to become a wine-maker at the age of 40, takeing over from her father, Marc. Domaine Allemand is one of the oldest vineyards in the Southern Alps. Located in Théus, where the Durance meets the Lac de Serre-Ponçon, it has belonged to the family since 1954. Half of its 11 hectares are planted with mollard. This neglected grape variety, typical to the Hautes-Alpes, would have disappeared without the work of the Allemand family.

Génépy and Even Pastis, Too

Flavours of Alpine Plants

To enjoy the famous génépy, the iconic drink of the Hautes-Alpes made from the plant of the same name, pop over to the Distillerie Lachanenche. Here, you can also try the Pastis de la Roche Bénite. This combination of 14 plants obtained the gold medal in 2016 at the Concours Général Agricole (the General Agricultural Competition). Take advantage of this visit to enjoy the powerful and subtle flavours of Alpine nature. At the Distillerie Lachanenche, all alcohols are created using wild plants, picked in the Vallée de l’Ubaye. Juniper for gin, wild wormwood for absinthe, and hyssop for the liqueur of the same name. Everything is 100% natural, with no additives, extracts or concentrates. Cheers!

Iced Cider

Take a Chill with Pomme Givrée

The Hautes-Alpes brand, Apple des Cimes, has made its name with its Pomme Givrée, aka Frozen Apple. Inspired by Canadian ice ciders, here’s how this syrupy drink is made. First, Reinettes Blanches  apples are harvested at an altitude of 1000 metres in mid-October. After they are fermented, the mash is concentrated under cold conditions at -21 degrees celsius. Ice cider should be savoured: it takes 10 kilos of apples to produce one litre of Pommes Givrées!

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