Viticultural area: Aosta Valley

Associated viticultural areas Italy Italy Aosta Valley Aosta Valley
Aosta Valley

The Aosta Valley

Wine-growing landscape in Aosta Valley (Photo Monfrino)The Aosta Valley has had a vine-growing tradition for several thousands of years. It is highly likely that the vine had already been brought here as a result of bartering, before the Roman legions came. Remains of amphorae found in the necropolis of Aosta and dating from the 5th century B.C. are probably the first proof of wine-making. The repeated abandoning of viticulture, due to famine and barbarian and Saracen invasions during and after the Fall of the Roman Empire, ceased in the Middle Ages, when local vines were retrieved and widely planted. This introduction of traditional vines came about between the 5th and 11th century A.D.. The late 1800s saw the maximum expansion of the Aosta Valley vineyards, with about 3,000 hectares cultivated. Following the appearance of serious diseases imported from overseas, many French and Piedmontese vines were planted. From this time on, there was a gradual reduction in the area cultivated with vines, reaching a minimum of 500 ha. in 2000, which marked the beginning of an upturn.

Facts and figures

Total wine-growing area of the Aosta Valley Region (ha.)

522

Total wine-growing area on difficult terrain
(altitude, steep slopes, terracing) (ha.)

315

Area with slopes > 30% (ha.)

191

Area at an altitude > 500 m above sea level (ha.)

315

Area terraced (ha.)

135

Maximum altitude of the vineyards (m above sea level)

1,100

Area of vineyards on difficult terrain

From the valley bottom terraces at Donnas up to 1,100m in Morgex commune

(Data updated to 2006)

Subdivision of the area

The wineries are small: in fact 67% cultivated less than 0.2 ha. , covering 35% of the area. A further 46% of the area is occupied by 31% of the producers with from 0.2 to 1 ha.. Only 2% are larger than 1 ha., making up 19% of the area.

Wine-growing landscape

The vines are grown on terraces supported by dry stone walls, on embankments or, where possible, in the direction of the slope. Given the features of the terrain and the low rainfall in the area, it is not necessary to take any particular measures to channel and control surface water. The vineyards tend to be grown as a single crop but in the past the pergolas used to be associated with other crops (fodder and/or vegetables). In some cases monorail systems have been installed to aid transportation. The rural buildings have often been converted for use as private housing and/or for tourism.

Main vines


White grapes:

  • Prié blanc
  • Moscato bianco
  • Müller-Thurgau
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot grigio
  • Petite Arvine
Black grapes:

  • Petit rouge
  • Nebbiolo
  • Pinot nero
  • Gamay
  • Fumin
  • Cornallin
  • Mayolet
  • Syrah