Valle d'Aosta

Regional detail

Location

North of Torino. runs east to west from the mountains of Monte Bianco to Piedmont, a long narrow valley carved out by the River Dora Baltea

Climate

Depends on the altitude of the vineyard but generally continental with very cold winters and long warm summers. Exposition will also affect mesoclimates

Topography

Very mountainous, dominated by Monte Bianco. Terraced vineyards, small plots, back-breaking work.

Soils

Subject to erosion and therefore very mixed, poor, gravelly

Production

Average production 6000 Hl DOC wine. Italy’s smallest region. 2 most important wines – Torrette and Blanc de Morgex
Valle d
Valle d'Aosta

Grapes

Cornalin

Description

Aka Corniola. this red variety is cultivated mostly between Arnad and Arvier. Wines have notably less acidity than there Aostan counterparts.

Principle Wines

Valle d’Aosta DOC Cornalin
Dolcetto

Description

see Piedmont

Principle Wines

see Piedmont
Freisa

Description

see Piedmont

Principle Wines

see Piedmont
Fumin

Description

Dark berried speciality of the Valle d'Aosta similar to Freisa. Locally its wines are consumed with some aging.

Principle Wines

Valle d'Aosta Fumin
fumin grape
Mayolet

Description

The brilliant ruby-red Mayolet reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas with an evident hint of rose followed by pleasing notes of cherry, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry. Early ripening red variety

Principle Wines

mayolet grape
Nebbiolo

Description

AKA Picutener see Piedmont

Principle Wines

AKA Picutener see Piedmont
Neyret

Description

A blue-black grape for blending.

Principle Wines

Arnad Montjovet Blend; Donnas Blend; Enfer d'Arvier
Petit Rouge

Description

One of the more widely cultivated red grapes mostly in the mid valley. Native to the region

Principle Wines

Torrette; Chambave Rouge; Enfer d'Arvier Blend; Nus Rouge
petit rouge grape
Pinot Nero

Description

see International

Principle Wines

see International
pinot nero grape
Premetta

Description

Rare red grape produced between Aosta and St Pierre. Produces wines light of colour but good body.

Principle Wines

premetta grape
Prié

Description

Valle d'Aosta's only native white grape. It's resistant to cold and ripens fairly early.

Principle Wines

Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle
prie grape
Vien de Nus

Description

Found especially in the central iommune of Nus. This red native grape can achieve relatively good alcohol levels for this cooler climate.

Principle Wines

Nus Rouge
vien de nus grape

Major Appellations DOCG/DOC

Valle d'Aosta DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Some interest generated in the 1990s especially of the Nebbiolo based Donnas towards the Piedmontese border. However, much of the consumption is local and sales are regional, at best and thus confined within Northern Italy

Principle Wines

This is a catch all DOC. Grapes depending on label descriptions and sub denominations (see sub appellations).

Sub Appellations DOGC/DOC

Arnad Montjovet

Description

Made in the zones towards the Eastern end of the valley between Chambave and Donnas. A perfumed dry red based 70% on Nebbiolo

Principle Wines

Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Vien de Nus, Pinot Nero, Neyret, Freisa
Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle

Description

From high up in the valley in the western area of the appellation this is possibly more well known wine from the region. A white demonstrating mountain freshness when dry the late harvest version can be sweet. There is also a spumante version.

Principle Wines

Prié Blanc
Chambave Muscat

Description

There is the dry and sweet version called flétri which is a late harvest and then raisined wine rather like recioto di soave, matured in small oak barrels

Principle Wines

Moscato
Chambave Rouge

Description

From the centre of the region this wine must have at least 70% Petit Rouge

Principle Wines

Petit Rouge, Dolcetto, Gamay, Pinot Nero
Donnas

Description

From the eastern part of the region bordering Piedmont. Nebbiolo must make at least 85% of the blend. Locals call this wine Barolo's mountain brother.

Principle Wines

Nebbiolo (Picutener), Freisa, Neyret
Enfer d'Arvier

Description

One of the first areas in the region to achieve DOC status, its name comes for the suntrap amphitheatre of vineyards. 85% of the blend must come from native grapes.

Principle Wines

Petit Rouge, Pinot Nero, Vien de Nus, Neyret, Gamay
Nus Malvoisie

Description

There is the dry and sweet version called flétri which is a late harvest and then raisined wine rather like recioto di soave, matured in small oak barrels

Principle Wines

Malvoisie and Pinot Grigio
Nus Rouge

Description

Nus is the area in the centre of Valle d'Aosta. This fruity Alpine red must have at least 70% native grapes.

Principle Wines

Vien de Nus at least 40%, Petit Rouge, Pinot Nero
Torrette

Description

Very perfumed red of flowers and wild strawberries. Dry and spicey palate.

Principle Wines

Petit Rouge at least 70%, Pinot Nero