Menu

Cornalin (Rouge du Pays)

Cornalin is a traditional Swiss red grape variety grown in Valais. Cornalin gives fruity red wines with an elegant bouquet and an intense crimson tinted purple colour. Typical flavours are sweet cherries, raspberries and red currants often with a floral touch such as violets, or a herbal note like raspberry leaves.

Cornalin's fruitiness is more like Merlot than Gamay, but its acidity is right between the two so you should expect a Cornalin to have good structure. Its touch of bitterness and rusticity, which depends enormously on the vintage, is reminiscent of Mondeuse Noir from Alpine France.

Cornalin, originally named Rouge du Pays, was once the dominant red grape variety in Valais. 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.

Rouge de 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. Rouge du Pays is one of the parents of Humagne Rouge (Cornalin) so it is amusing that it usurped the name of its own descendent. 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 (Rouge du Pays)' Wines

champmarais_cornalin_2012_-_side
Switzerland
Red

Cave Jean-René Germanier
cornalingrandmetral_side
Switzerland
Red
terpsichore_side
Switzerland
Red
constellation_2009_alois_lichtsteiner_giroud_vins_side_1
Switzerland
Red

Giroud, Sion
danse_des_etoiles_cornalin_ravanay_side
Switzerland
Red
side-big-domaine_des_muses_cornalin_valais_1
Switzerland
Red

Domaine des Muses
electus_side
Switzerland
Red

Valais Mundi
A wine created to raise expectations about Swiss wine to a whole new level.
ruistal_1
Switzerland
Red

Varone Vins
Bold blend from Valais.
terrevivante_side_1
Switzerland
Red
clos_combe_uvrier_rouge_1
Switzerland
Red

Varone Vins
Serious Swiss Red.
Show all Cornalin (Rouge du Pays)' Wines

Sign up to the alpine wines newsletter