Cave de La Cote - Cornalin
Winery of the Year Switzerland 2019, Grand Prix du Vin Suisse.
Cornalin is a traditional Swiss red grape variety grown in Valais. It is one of the rare varieties shared between Aosta and Valais. It gives fruity red wine with an elegant nose but a more robust, even rustic body, and often surprising (for those not used to Alpine reds) herbal notes.
Created in 1929 by some of La Côte's winegrowers Uvavins - Cave de La Côte is a co-operative producing more than 200 different vintages representing the different towns and terroirs of the region including Clos, Châteaux (castles), Domaines (estates), all with well-marked tastes and characters.
The wines are of superb quality and the team is ambitious to continue to create wines of international calibre as shown by the number of medals they win.
In 1929, eighty-five winegrowers from Morges and the surrounding region decided to get together to establish the Cave des Viticulteurs de Morges, which immediately equipped itself with many wine presses and vats for the storage of harvests and started to commercialise them.
Then, from 1974 onwards the Cave des Viticulteurs de Morges adopted the current name of Uvavins - Cave de La Côte.
The grape formerly known as Rouge du Pays.
Rouge du Pays is almost certainly from the Val d'Aosta in Italy as its parents are Petite Rouge and Mayolet. However, Rouge du Pays has only ever been found in Valais in Switzerland, where it has been grown for centuries.
It is a rather capricious grape and alternates between heavy and light yields, so it requires a lot of work in the vineyard. Starting in the late nineteenth century it was slowly replaced by Pinot Noir and Gamay and was almost extinct by the early 1970's. This is when the variety was revived and renamed Cornalin, taking the name of a variety thought to be extinct. Ironically the original Cornalin was alive and well in Valais under the name Humagne Rouge but that wasn't known until decades later from DNA testing.
With DNA testing, we now know that Rouge du Pays is one of the parents of Humagne Rouge. We also found out that Humagne Rouge is, actually, the lost variety which was called Cornalin. So yes, Cornalin is the father of Cornalin.
You may see people using "Cornalin d'Aoste" and "Cornalin du Valais" to make the distinction between the two uses of Cornalin, but if you know which country the wine is from there really isn't any confusion. Cornalin from Switzerland is this variety here, the grape formerly known as Rouge du Pays. Cornalin from Italy will be its child, the grape known in Switzerland as Humagne Rouge.