The people of the Valle d'Aosta have "constructed" their wines by ripping the earth of the mountains, with terracing clinging to the rocks and in «bilico» on the slopes of the valley floor. Red wines, rose-coloured and white, give characteristic flavours, strongly tied to the earth, so much so that the major part of them have obtained the recognition of wine of Denominazione di Origine Controllata (D.O.C.), such as «Vino Vallèe d'Aosta». And by the side of these there are the table wines, called «Vins du pays», perhaps less «noble», but certainly not less appreciated.
Origins and «paternity» of the viticulture of the mountains has been lost over the centuries, and there remain only that between pieces of history and tales, handed down orally from one generation to the other. What is certain, however, is the attention that there has always been for the wines produced and lived as a socially important moment, entered and becoming part of the culture of this people who in as much had to «tear» and «gather» from the mountains.
Leading from the red wines and analyzing the D.O.C. we find the Donnas, of which vines are found cultivated in the area of the Councils of Donnas, Pont-Saint-Martin, Perloz and Bard. Two years of aging in oak or chestnut casks, for a brilliant red wine, of a garnet red «gradation», and a bitterish taste which with the years tends to form a slightly almondy taste. Accompanies matured tome or with Fontina cheese, but also accompanies well meat and game.
Remaining again with the red D.O.C.'s: L'Enfer d'Arvier, that was «born» in a sunny area, and the «adret» of the Dora Baltea. It is an intense garnet red colour, with a «bouquet» which is similar to the wild rose, it gives a velvety flavour and at the same time, dry, with a delicate slightly bitterish point.
A wine for all dishes and excellent with meat.
The Donnas and L'Enfer d'Arvier are some of the first wines from the Valle d'Aosta to obtain the recognition of D.O.C. Then, still with the reds, the Gamay. A name resonant for a wine present in many localities of the Valle. It is characteristic for its fruity flavour, it has an aging in the cask of six months, which gives it a lively red colour. It accompanies well the hors d'oeuvres of the Valle d'Aosta, but also appreciated with vegetable soups and fondue.
Of an intense ruby red is also the Chambave Rouge, which is obtained from the areas of Chambave, Saint.Vincent, Pontey, Chàtillon, Saint-Denis, Verrayes and Montjovet. A wine for the whole meal, and may also accompany meat courses. Excellent with the seupetta alla cogneintse and with the vapellinentse soup.
With an intense flavour, dry and slightly grassy, the Nus Rouge (Nus, Verrayes, Quart, Saint-Christophe and Aosta). Made into wine in vats of chestnut, on the table it is «married» to vegetable soups and typical dishes of the Valle d'Aosta gastronomy.
A brilliant colour, of a red which tends to ruby, the Arnad-Montjovet.
A year in oak or chestnut casks for a wine of whose grapes are cultivated in the zones of Arnad, Hòne, Verrès, Issogne, Challand-Saint-Victor, Champdepraz and Montjovet. Brilliant red, which reminds us of the sour cherry, has a flavour of a bitterish bottom. It accompanies vegetable soups, but above all coupled to lard, and so goes well with a dish of kid and of pork.
Six months in wooden casks for the Torrete and eight months for the Torrette Superiore, the two reds from the zones of Quart, Saint-Christophe, Aosta, Saint-Pierre, Sarre, Charvensod, Gressan, Jovençcan, Aymavilles, Villeneuve and Introd.
Of a lively red colour, when tends to the strawberry for the type «Superiore», the Torrette is a wine for all courses, accompanies well both those hors d'oeuvres of salami, as well as vegetable soups, but excellent also with mature cheeses.
Between the «characteristic» the Pinot Noir: six months in casks for a vinification «in red» and three months of aging for a vinification «in white», it is a wine of a ruby red colour and of a heavy perfume. Dry, slightly sweet, it is excellent served with meats in civet and with salami. The «variety», in which is instead coupled with aperitifs or with fish.
Intense red and with a spicy perfume for the Fumin, of whose production is concentrated above all in the Media Valle. Dry and bitterish, it accompanies well old cheeses, meat and salami.
From its perfume we are reminded of the wild rose, the Petit Rouge. Full bodied wine, it has a dry and warm taste. Excellent for the whole meal, it may be preferred for dishes with a Fontina base or with vegetable soups. Rose-coloured, excellent with «heavy» dishes such as the vapellinentse and thepeilò, is the Prèmetta.
From the reds to the whites. Of a low alcoholic base, fresh and slightly sparkling the Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle is one of the «top» wines of Europe, because it is «born» between 900 and 1200 mts. Of a straw yellow colour it is particularly adapted for delicate hors d'oeuves, coupled with fish courses, but also with Fontina cheese and reblec, served very cold.
Amber yellow, with golden reflections for the Nus Malvoisie known also as Pinot Gris. Three months in casks for a dry white, of an intense perfume, of whose grapes are from the zones of Nus, Verrayes, Quart, Saint-Christophe and Aosta.
It is an after dinner wine and accompanies well dessert dishes.
Another after dinner wine is the Nus Pinot Grigio Passito. Of an amber yellow colour and with a flavour of chestnuts, very alcoholic, it is finely coupled with small cakes.
From the characteristic «bouquet» of muscat, the ChambaveMoscato Passito. Golden yellow colour, with a tendency to copper, accompanies desserts, and in particular with biscuits and «tegole».
A brilliant straw yellow colour, with a dry, aromatic and delicate taste, the sparkling Chambave Muscat, that, other than being indicated for desserts is excellent also as an aperitif.
Between the whites of the aperitif there is also the Mùller-Thurgau, characteristic of the wine growing and production of all the Valle d'Aosta. Dry, fruity, it has a yellow straw colour, with a green gradation.
Straw yellow, of an intense and fruity perfume, the Chardonnay, of which exists a variety «barrique», that has an aging in oak casks. Excellent as an aperitif, it also accompanies well white meat and fish.
Three months of aging for the Petite Arvine, a wine of extreme delicacy. Of a greenish colour it has a taste characteristic of mountain flowers.
Wine for meditation is the Pinot Gris, and so a «between meals», that may still however accompany hors d'oeuvres and particularly flavoured dishes.