On November 20, 2020 / Gastronomy, Outing Ideas

Sit down comfortably, we are going to tell you the story of two skills originating from Bugey, these mountains just next to Lyon...

The little story of the birth of Montagnieu wine

Once upon a time, there was a region that produced both wine and dressed stone… A few kilometers away, in the Mounts of Bugey, lived the winegrowers of the islet of Montagnieu and the quarrymen of Villebois.

It's all a matter of choice...

Now Villebois quarry, the Strong Men – as they were nicknamed – extracted the “ choice from Villebois, a light gray limestone, which was used for construction in the surrounding area. A large part of the Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon was also built with Villebois stone. But how to transport all this rock to Lyon?

The principle was simple, although difficult. The blocks of stone were placed on carts, called " tanks“, which was slid to the banks of the Rhône, below. The boatmen then loaded the blocks onto flat-bottomed barges that traveled down the river to Lyon.

The Octave quarry is located on the strong men trail, at the old Villebois quarries. The ground still bears the traces of chariots, anchored in the ground for millennia. Open your eyes while enjoying this easy ride in family, in the heart of this Sensitive Natural Area.

… and a wine story!

All this is very interesting, you will tell me, but what is the relationship with the Bugey wine ?
Meanwhile, the Bugey winegrowers are making wines on the plots that stretch between Montagnieu, Seillonnaz and Briord. And to ship their orders, placed by many restaurants in Lyon, they do not go about it any other way than by also using the services of the Rhône boatmen.

Thus, wine and stone are transported by the river during a particularly harsh summer. The story does not say exactly what happened in the holds of the ships. Perhaps badly sealed bottles, the heat playing with the white wine, a harvest that was a little too full of gas… The fact remains that on arrival on the quays of Lyon, the still white wine had become effervescent!

And as chance and nature do things well, this new sparkling white wine can be drunk well, especially well chilled, the restaurateurs decided to put it on their menu, and the winegrowers of Montagnieu began to produce the pleasant Montagnieu Traditional Method that you can enjoy today as an aperitif or as a dessert!

Champagne from Lyon

This is how Montagnieu became a staple on the tables of prestigious restaurants in Lyon. It is still acclaimed today by Lyonnais chefs who like to associate it with the gastronomy of traditional corks. Like many wines from the sector, it can accompany an entire meal, from aperitif to dessert. often nicknamed the "Champagne Lyonnais", it is a wine appreciated for its acidity and freshness on the palate. The best ally for your summer meals or your family celebrations.

Where to taste Montagnieu?

Several winegrowers offer online sales with delivery*. Ideal for a gourmet gift for the Christmas holidays or all year round. It is possible to find some domains in wine merchants, restaurants or wine bars in Lyon.

Thanks to Theo from Cave Peillot & associates for this anecdote told during an excellent tasting moment!

*During confinement, find the winegrowers offering order and delivery services on our page: good plans for confinement, gourmet baskets & artisans.
Alcohol should be consumed in moderation.

Sabrina Megani

Published by


Residence advisor

Old stones and pretty villages, she can't get enough of them. So much so that she moved to Pérouges, where she discovered a passion for gardening! Also likes to walk (but not run, never run) and take pictures. The rest of the time she prefers reading and eating cheese (with wine).


Special sign : collects tartan clothing.
Preferred country: Scotland (unless it's Italy).
Absolute fan of: tea !
Nature favorite: the blue lake.
Cultural favorite: the Ambronay festival.