Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Escape to the Italian Alps with Pinot Nero from Grosjean in Valle d'Aosta

One of the most beautiful parts of Italy I have been to I traveled to last October for my honeymoon in the Valle d'Aosta or Aosta Valley, the tip of northwestern Italy. I shared my beautiful trip with you in my last blog on the Valle d'Aosta when I stayed at Agriturismo La Viggni de Crest. Today we'll discuss the region more in depth as I'm learning thoroughly the Italian wine regions through the NASA Italian Wine Specialist program. With Vino Travels being an Italian wine blog of course I'm going to take you through my journey in this program region by region.

Grosjean winery Valle d'Aosta
Grosjean Winery

The wine I'm sharing with you today comes from the Grosjean winery. Doesn't sound very Italian at all, does it? That's because the Valle d'Aosta, or Valle d' Aoste, region in Italy is a combination of French and Italian speaking residents. This region borders France in the west and Switzerland in the north, so there are many influences from not only a linguistic standpoint, but also in the food, wine and traditions. This region is the smallest populated region in all of Italy. It may be the least populated, but all the better to enjoy the peace of nature with the tallest mountain in western Europe, Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco, dominating the valley. 

Grosjean winery Valle d'Aosta DOC
Grosjean winery
This region only has one DOC, the Valle d'Aosta DOC, but produces 25 styles of wine with the Institut Agricole Regional stating that there are 13 grapes that are native to this region. Reds mostly dominate this region by about 85% with pinot nero being one of the top red grapes from this region. The Grosjean winery has a large variety of these grapes and uses very natural methods in their farming along with organic fertilizers.
Grosjean Valle d'Aosta DOC
Grosjean family
I tasted the 2012 Grosjean Pinot Nero Valle d'Aosta DOC wine. It was a dry, medium bodied wine that was rather smooth with red currant and spices to include clove and licorice on the palate. The tannins were soft and the wine was moderately balanced.

2012 Grosjean Pinot Nero

I highly recommend seeking out this region not only for it's beauty, but for it's variety of indigenous varietals if you can find them.

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