Val D'Aosta is as small as it is rich and there are many itineraries to discover, by motorbike, car or bike, the goodness and history of wines and vineyards nestled between valleys and mountains.
The wine tourism experience in Valle d'Aosta is distinctly different from other Italian regions. We go from visits to the vineyard with music, tastings at the highest vineyards in Europe, trekking and e-bikes in the vineyard, are just some of the proposals that can be booked by contacting the companies.
The Aosta Valley wines are grouped below a single Controlled Designation of Origin Valle d'Aosta - Vallée d'Aoste, declined in 7 area sub-denominations (Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle, Enfer d'Arvier, Torrette, Nus, Chambave, Arnad-Montjovet and Donnas) and 15 of grape variety (Chardonnay, Cornalin , Fumin, Gamay, Mayolet, Merlot, Müller Thurgau, Nebbiolo, Petite Arvine, Petit Rouge, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Prëmetta and Syrah).
Not to be missed, between a cellar and a tasting, a visit to Most beautiful castles in the Aosta Valley.
Do you know what heroic vineyards are? The adjective "heroic" already makes it clear that it is not a normal vineyard, but something that struggles to live and / or that grows in an inaccessible area, due to the soil, the climate, the slope, the altitude extreme.
They are vineyards cultivated by passionate and equally heroic winemakers who have torn small plots of land from rocks and mountains, often well rewarded by the quality of the wines produced, even if in small quantities.
In the Valdigne at the foot of Mont Blanc, the high altitude of the vineyards (1.200 meters), among the highest in Europe, allows the production of fine wines. white grape traditionally grown on a low pergola, which is today one of the ungrafted varieties, not grafted on American vines, the basis of Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle, the white par excellence of the Aosta Valley.
A particularly suggestive moment is the harvest of overripe grapes (Chaudelune or vin de glace), left to wither in the vineyard and harvested, at temperatures between -5 and -10 °, at the first frosts of December, to be cold pressed and left to ferment in oak barrels and in carats of local essences. In addition to whites and passito wines, the classic method sparkling wines are worthy of note, including, in particular, the Quatremillemètres vins d'altitude label, which combines experimentation and specificity of the territory.
The “high altitude sparkling wine” experience certainly deserves attention, made possible by a collaboration between Cave Mont Blanc and the Courmayeur Guide Society. It was July 20, 2009 when the first bottle of Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle Classic Method Extrabrut "Cuvée des Guides" was "picozzato" on the summit of Mont Blanc, an experience possible today by climbing with the Skyway Monte Bianco up to the experimental cellar located at Pavillon du Mont Fréty station.
The production of the Enfer is mainly located in the area of Arvier and Avise, near imposing rocky walls dominated by a particular very hot microclimate (hence the name "enfer") which allows the development of the vineyards red berried up to over 800 meters on the south-facing slope. Precisely these characteristics have made this place a favorite for the cultivation of the vine for centuries.
In fact, the first documented reference to viticulture in Arvier dates back to 1312, a reconnaissance attesting to Rodolphus de Avisio the ownership of a vineyard in the Enfer area. And still Enfer, according to the historian Carlo Passerin d'Entrèves, appears in a chronicle of 1494, being one of the wines with which the canon Giorgio di Challant welcomes the king of France Charles VIII, passing through the Aosta Valley.
This territory too offers very suggestive glimpses and panoramas, dominated by the terraced landscape typical of viticulture eroica.
On the two orographic sides of the Dora, in the municipalities of Villeneuve, Saint-Pierre and Sarre all'adret and Aymavilles, Jovençan and Gressan on the opposite side of the envers, nature and history blend perfectly offering the visitor the opportunity to discover a varied landscape and well cultivated, in which the vineyards seem to embrace the castles that dominate the entire territory from above.
Il Turrets, Valle d'Aosta wine produced in greater quantities, expresses the best of its potential in the wine production of the plaine. A harmonious wine, with a dry and dry flavor, which, in its supérieur version, is distinguished by a greater sugar richness of the grapes and a more prolonged aging. And then the Fumin, wine with an intense color, suitable for traditional aging in wood, whose best productions are obtained from sandy soils well exposed to midday, the carnelian or Pinot Noir.
The production of whites is also nourished: the aromatic Müller Thurgau, the delicate Little Arvine with a fine and fruity aroma, saline on the palate, straw yellow in color, or lo Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, which can be tasted in addition to the Cave des onze Communes also by private producers of Jovençan and Gressan.
In this area you can also visit the permanent exhibition of Aosta Valley wines located at Granges of the Aymavilles Castle, a must to discover and taste the main labels of regional wines.
This area is characterized by the presence of Moscato Bianco grapes, through which the vinification of Vallée d'Aoste Chambave Muscat DOC. From this process comes a fine wine, bright straw yellow in color, with golden reflections, full-bodied, dry, rightly alcoholic, with a finely bitter aftertaste, which lends itself to being drunk between meals, especially as an aperitif, even if it finds good combinations. with shellfish and medium-aged cheeses.
The strong difference in height that characterizes this area is a connotating element of the territory. Here, in fact, theespalier cultivation of grapes, with very suggestive rural landscapes to visit and fall madly in love with through one of the wine tourism experiences proposed by local vignerons.
The mountain in this area is designed by the vineyards on the adret, the sunny side, where the grapes are heated from early morning until sunset. On those terraces you get the Donnas DOC, the first in Valle d'Aosta to have recognized the Denomination of Controlled Origin, for the production of which Nebbiolo grapes are used, locally called Picotendro.
This “mountain brother of Barolo” can be easily tasted at the Caves Cooperatives de Donnas which, in addition to organizing tourist routes through the vineyards also in synergy with the Forte di Bard, collaborates in the management of the small but pleasant Wine Museum in the homonymous village of Donnas.
Worth a visit the Kiuva, an agricultural cooperative that also deals with breeding, at which Arnad-Montjovet DOC it can be tasted in combination with the renowned Lardo d'Arnad DOP and other locally produced cured meats such as boudin or the more seasoned saouseusse and other products that with their taste tell of the alpine rural tradition.
Some local vignerons in the area can make the interested tourist discover their sought-after production of Nebbiolo DOC, with an almondy taste, full-bodied, with a tannic finish.