The road between Martigny (CH) and Aosta in Italy is worthy of an adventure film, sinuous as one would wish. The next day, the sun appears and illuminates the whole valley with its golden foliage all the way to the majestic Mont-Blanc - an ideal time for my visit to the Aosta Valley!
Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy. Agriculture is highly developed here. But before talking about wine, one thing to point out: Aosta ham is not an Italian D.O.C., but simply a French industrial ham!
Valle d'Aosta is the seat of the mountain viticulture association: the CERVIM. Mountain viticulture is characterized by a land slope of more than 30%, an altitude of more than 500m, terraced and tiered viticulture systems and small unit viticulture. Hanging gardens in short. The plots are tiny and it takes a long time for the winegrowers to move from one to the other. But it must be such a pleasure to work here, the landscapes are sumptuous and really worth the detour.
The soils of Valle d'Aosta are not very clayey, very draining and retain little water. It is frequent that the vineyards are irrigated in the driest months thanks to the water of the glaciers, says Eléana Charrère from Domaine des Crêtes. The climate is indeed very dry in Valle d'Aosta. In spite of the qualitative potential, it deplores the fact that the young people are no longer interested in taking over the properties.
At the foot of the majestic Mont-Blanc, in Morgex, I discover the Prié Blanc grape variety grown on pergola. They are free standing, they do not undergo grafting to protect them from phylloxera. The pergola brings a real qualitative advantage. The oenologist Nicola DelNegro explains to me that it allows a better exposure to the sun and the proximity of the pergola to the ground allows to take advantage of the heat released by this one and thus to avoid the frost. They are the highest vineyards in Europe (between 900 and 1200m altitude)!
Domaine Les Crêtes
Cave du Mont-Blanc - Morgex
Benjamin Gras (Les Grappes)
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