Alpage de Porrez : a typical habitat of Haute-Savoie
A traditional mountain farm, l’Alpage de Porrez is part of a rich architectural and cultural heritage, typical of Haute-Savoie. The altitude restaurant bears witness to the alpine agro-pastoral history of our magnificent region.
Alpage de Porrez : a piece of history in the heart of the mountains
Erected in the middle of the mountains, the alpine farms are inseparable from the agricultural and economic life of Haute-Savoie. Perched at an altitude of 1,500 meters between Combloux and Megève, l’Alpage de Porrez bears witness to the powerful link that has always existed between man and nature.
Proudly facing the Aravis range, Christian and Laëtitia‘s chalet blends in perfectly with its natural environment, in the purest tradition of alpine farms.
The pastures have been exploited since ancient times. For a long time, they made it possible to provide a large part of the food and were the way to obtain the necessary cash for essential purchases such as salt, tools or fabrics. The breeding (dairy cows, sheep, goats) is linked to the mountain pastures, symbol of all the life of the high valleys of Savoy. The word « alpage » comes from the Celtic “alpe” or “aulp”, meaning “high altitude pasture”. Exploited since the pre-Roman era, the “alp” gave its name to the entire chain of the Alps. The primary purpose of these dwellings was to constitute a refuge for breeders accompanying their herds in the mountains during the summer season.
Transhumance to summer pastures was indeed made possible by the presence of these sober and rudimentary farms which are nowadays revealed to hikers between 1,200 and 2,500 meters above sea level. The farms were built with respect for the environment with materials (wood, stones, etc.) available on site. The whole village was mobilized for the construction and the inhabitants were taking turns to lend a hand to the farmers in order to complete the construction as quickly as possible.
The rich history of l’Alpage de Porrez
The chalet as it is today was renovated several times. The anecdote is old, but it deserves to be told. In 1928, the original chalet of l’Alpage de Porrez was destroyed by arson. The farm was rebuilt in 1929, notably with a new frame assembled in Cordon and transported to the mountain with horses. It then took the name of Ferme de Bellevue.
The cause of the fire was not known until several years after the incident. It was a dark story of revenge linked to a neighborhood problem, revealed by the arsonist on his deathbed. Remorseful and about to take his last breath, he confessed that he had actually burnt the wrong chalet …
Rented in the 1950s by a family from Sallanches – who used to walk up the Chemin de la Jorasse – l’Alpage de Porrez was sold in 1997 by Francis Baz to François Périnet.
The latter plans to create a restaurant in the locality of Porrez (commune of Saint-Roch). François Périnet carried out major renovations between 1998 and 2002. On January 26th of that year, he celebrated the first service at his altitude restaurant, which took the name of l’Alpage de Porrez.
The premises were then bought ten years later by Gérard Dandeville, who sold the chalet in 2017 to the current owners, Laëtitia and Christian. The couple launched major works that lasted two years. The renovation allowed the chalet to be integrated into its surroundings, to expand the habitat and storage under the terrace and to transform the old farm into a living space for family and customers.
The first meals made by chef Christophe are served in 2019 at l’Alpage de Porrez.
To taste the refined and gourmet cuisine of the Alpage de Porrez, reservations are required. L’Alpage de Porrez will close from October 21st and will reopen its doors on December 16th for the winter season.