The Aosta valley was given its name by the Romans and was later part of Savoy.
It has close ties across the Alps following the passes and river routes with traditions very similar to those of Valais and via the Walser migrations, to Swiss Graubünden.
You reach the Aosta Valley either from Switzerland over the St Bernard pass, from the Mont Blanc area, or up from Piemont.
Days are warm but nights are chilly which allows the typical Alpine combination of maturity without overripeness. Wines are grown on terraces and on Pergolas to deal with the very cool nights.
The most widespread among the indigenous grapes are the red Petit Rouge, "Little Red", and the Fumin, a somewhat meatier grape. The Fumin is considered more internationally interesting, but here at Alpine Wines we have a huge soft spot for the Petit Rouge - nothing "small" about these wines! Unique to Aosta is the Prié Blanc, also known as Blanc de Morgex, a very dry white grown on Pergolas at a higher altitude than other vineyards in the region. Varieties which have been successful in Switzerland such as Arvine and Humagne Rouge (Cornalin d'Aoste) are being replanted.
The main regional production however consists of Pinot Noir, Gamay and Petit Rouge.
A lot of vineyards have been lost to tourism accommodation since the 1980's.