Wine Stories Roger Sesto

Petite Arvine from Switzerland to Mont Blanc

Petite Arvine from Switzerland to Mont Blanc

Petite Arvine is thought to have originated from the Martigny region (Switzerland). It is a white grape variety with a very interesting expressive potential. It seems to have been brought to the canton of Valais by the Romans, through the Great St Bernard pass; but it is only Roman in name (from the Latin galbinus, meaning yellow), because DNA tests show genetic affinity with certain plants typical of Valle d’Aosta.

Petite Arvine, daughter of the canton of Valais

It is a late-harvest cultivar, which needs to be picked when very ripe in the second week of October, in order to preserve its acid profile. It is used to make fruity and slightly salty wines with fresh acidity; all aspects that make these wines long-lived.

Costantino Charrère and Elio Ottin

Costantino Charrère of Les Crêtes was one of the first to grow this variety back in the early 1990s. Another key player in making wine from this variety is Elio Ottin, who underlines its marked mineral character, nose-palate complexity and balance. But its great longevity shouldn’t be overlooked, either. “The nose offers up notes of exotic fruit and minerals, while the mouth is firmly-structured and alcoholic, but also with fresh acidity. In our opinion, the grapes lend themselves well to drying.”

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