Aosta Valley (Valle d'Aosta) is Italy's smallest and least populous region, just one-eighth the size of neighboring Piedmont.
Despite the region's small size and minimal fame, a wide range of both red and white wines are made here from a selection of both native and introduced grape varieties. The most important of these is Picotendro, the local form of Nebbiolo.
Aosta is clearly influenced by its neighbors. French is the official second language here, and French grape varieties are just as common here as Italian varieties. Chardonnay and Gamay grow cheek-by-jowl alongside Nebbiolo and Dolcetto.
In addition to the more familiar grape varieties, the Institut Agricole Régional has indexed a selection of native regional grapes. Some of these are well suited to use in single-variety wines, others used only in blends. Petit Rouge is arguably the most important of these (besides Picotendro). Fumin and Vien de Nus are also widely used, creating taut, spicy red wines. Fruity white wines are produced in both dry and sweet styles, from Prie Blanc, Moscato Bianco and Pinot Grigio.
Although the Aosta Valley has no DOCG titles, this is not necessarily an indication that there is no high-quality wine of interest produced here. The curious mix of grapes, terroir and culture provides intrigue in this region’s wines. (© Wine-Searcher)