Friday, November 3, 2023

Valle d’Aosta Co-op La Kiuva Rouge de Vallèe paired with Mushroom Soup

This month our Italian Food, Wine and Travel group explores the Valle d'Aosta and Piedmont wine regions led by our host Camilla of Culinary CamThe Valle d’Aosta wine region of Italy tucked in the northwestern corner bordering France to the west and Switzerland to the north is truly one of Italy’s hidden gems.  I explored this region on my honeymoon and was glad we went out of the way to venture there.  I was thrilled to find a bottle of Valle d’Aosta wine the end of last year at a wine shop since you don’t see these wines too often.  Plus, I’m always so intrigued by new grapes and many of these we’ve all probably never heard of before.  Today I explore the winery, La Kiuva, and one of their red blends along with a pairing of mushroom soup. 

Valle d'Aosta wine region
View of Aosta from our agriturismo
The Winery - La Kiuva 

La Kiuva, pronounced La “key-oo-vah", is a cooperative that was founded in 1975 that consists of about 50-60 growersTheir name, Kiuva, comes from a local dialect for “sheaf of leaves”.  These leaves were gathered to feed the local livestack in the fallBetween the growers, La Kiuva occupies about 60 acres of vineyards in the Pied de Ville, which is a small hamlet within the town of ArnadThis is where the coop was bornHere the plains meet the surrounding mountains looming all around. 

The coop produced their first vintage in 1979 and today produces about 8,000 cases with most of the growers farming organically.   

The Valle d’Aosta has a central valley that spans over almost 50 miles with individual valleys that break off the central valleyIt’s a very mountainous territory and consists of four of Europe’s top mountain peaks, Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc, Gran Paradiso and MatterhornWe took a funicular up one of the mountains and climbed additional steps to get even higherI had never personally experienced the difficulty in breathing at such altitudes, but once we got to the top the views of Mont Blanc brought tears to my eyesWhat beautyEveryone should experience this region.   

Torino Hut in Courmayeur
View from the Torino Hut in the Mont Blanc massif in the town of Courmayeur

The Wine 

I purchased the 2020 La Kiuva Rouge de Vallée, which is a blend of 70% Picotendro and 30% a blend of the grapes Gros Vien, Neyret, Cornalin and Fumin.  Have you heard of any of those grapes before?  Picotendro is actually the name for Nebbiolo in this area.  It comes from the French word Picot Tendre.  Here you see the influence of the French language that is heavily used along with Italian in this region.   

2020 La Kiuva Rouge de Vallée

As Nebbiolo usually is lightly colored, this wine was a transparent light garnet colorThere were aromas of red dried fruitsI was surprised to experience the characteristics of this Nebbiolo, but it makes considering the alpine climateIt was a light-bodied wine with bright cherry notesIt was very approachable with rather low tannin for a NebbioloFor those that like to drink reds in the warm months I think this wine would be a great choiceABV 13.5%. SRP $16The importer for this wine is Ethica Wines. 

The Pairing 

In researching this wine and the producer on Ethica Wines website they recommended a mushroom soup, which I thought would be a great idea with the NebbioloEven though the Nebbiolo was much lighter and less earthier than expected, this Rouge de Vallée from Kiuva was a nice complement with the mushroom soup I prepared. 

The base for my mushroom soup was beef brothI initially added some onions and garlic and sauteed those for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms and sherry topped with some flour well stirred. These cooked for about 5 minutes before adding the broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Easy preparation for a scrumptious meal and delightful pairing. What are your favorite wine and soup pairings?

Mushroom soup pairing with Picotendro

Join our fellow Italian food and wine lovers as they share their personal selections with some food pairings as well from the Valle d'Aosta and Piedmont wine regions.  We'll also be chatting live on X (the old Twitter) platform this Saturday at 11am EST.  Hope to see you there!  Check out the rest of the writer's articles.

  • Grosjean Fumin Valle d’Aosta DOC with Carbonade Valdostana & Polenta Concia by Crushed Grape Chronicles
  • Nebbiolo delle Langhe DOC from Vietti 2020, A Symphony of Flavor by Avvinare
  • Simple, but Seriously Delicious: Lasagne alla Valdostana + Grosjean Vallee d'Aoste Gamay 2022 by Culinary Cam
  • Sweet Surprises Pairing Brachetto and BBQ by The Quirky Cork
  • Two Cru Wines that Celebrates the Accomplished Viticultural Heritage of Piemonte by Grapevine Adventures
  • Why has Barbera wine from Piedmont changed so drastically in recent years? by Life at Table
  • Wine Braised Pork Loin and a 2019 Travaglini Gattinara by A Day in the Life on the Farm


  1. I’ve just come back from there (Alta Piemonte and Val d’Aosta) and was blown away by the wines, especially the Gattinara Nebbiolos, with much softer tannins than you get further south, and the high altitude whites in Aosta. Petite Arvine was a revelation. Particularly loved Anselmet and Ottin wineries,

  2. I love that this region has so many unique varieties! I am fond of Alpine Nebbiolo, so I am sure I would enjoy this wine. Your make this mushroom soup seem so simple! My husband is not a mushroom fan, but this seems like a recipe I might whip up just for myself one day!

  3. Wow, how wonderful that you got to experience such splendor and beauty. It is not very likely that I will find any of those varietals available here in Michigan but sometimes the fun is in the search.

  4. I love all things mushroom and can see how it would be a lovely pairing wit that wine. I can't wait to try the pairing for myself. Thanks for joining in the event this month. Hope the football (or it is really soccer?!) game went well.

  5. Very interesting to read about the Kiuva cooperative in Valle d'Aosta, I did not know much about it at all. Sounds like a great pairing too.

  6. La Kiuva sounds like a really interesting co-op, and how great that many of them farm organically??