Chignin-Bergeron is one of the 16 crus of the Vin de Savoie appellation of eastern France. Located just south of the city of Chambery, the cru covers wines made in the village of Chignin from the Roussanne grape variety, which is known locally as Bergeron. These wines display rich, perfumed flavors of stonefruit and are very much at odds with the usual image of light, delicate Savoie white wines.
The Chignin-Bergeron cru is unique among the Vin de Savoie crus in that it is the only one to be named for its one permitted grape variety. To qualify as Chignin-Bergeron, the grapes must come from vineyards in the communes of Francin, Montmelian and Chignin, itself a separate Vin de Savoie cru. Furthermore, Chignin-Bergeron is the only cru in Savoie that is permitted to use the Roussanne grape variety (although Vin de Savoie Abymes allows for the inclusion of Marsanne, Roussanne's traditional blending partner in the Rhone Valley).
The land surrounding the village of Chignin is well suited to the production of Roussanne, and the vineyards of the cru stretch up the southwest-facing slopes of the towering Montgelas mountain. Here, the vines receive excellent exposure to sunlight during the growing season, maximizing ripening and allowing for the development of rich flavor in the grapes. This is particularly important given Savoie's cool continental climate, and makes for wines with a balance of varietal character and refreshing acidity.
The Chignin-Bergeron vineyards are found atop rocky scree soils with a clayey, limestone marl subsoil. These soils absorb heat during the day and reflect it back onto the grapes during the evenings, further aiding the ripening process. The rocky nature of the soils and the steepness of the vineyards also allow for good drainage in the vineyards, limiting the vines access to water and thus lessening vigor and yields. As a result, the vines produce a smaller amount of high-quality grapes that result in rich, concentrated wines.
Chignin-Bergeron wines are quite distinct from other white wines produced in the area – hence the need for their own independent cru title. Richer and more complex than most Savoie white wines made from Jacquere and Altesse, they are considered to be amongst the finest of the region's wines.