Graves Blanc (Amigne)
AOC Valais (Vétroz), Didier Joris, 2016
|Origin:||Switzerland / Wallis|
Pale golden yellow with bright green tinge. Fresh, intense fruity nose of tangerine, apricot, lemon and traces of white pepper. Firm acidity, persistent texture with a precise structure. This perfect wine redefines the criteria for sensory analysis. A Gothic cathedral on palate!
|Origin:||Switzerland / Wallis|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 5 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Apéro riche, Grilled fish, Spicy hard cheese, Giant crevettes, grilled langoustines|
|Vinification:||partly destemmed, long must fermentation, fermentation in wooden barrel, soft pressing|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, strict selection, in small boxes|
|Maturation:||in partly new and used barriques/ Pièces, long cultivation|
Switzerland – A small country with enormous diversity
Switzerland is famous for its banks, watches, and cheese, but not necessarily for its wine. The Swiss didn't invent wine, but they have been extremely open and curious to it. Wine culture arrived in what is now modern Switzerland via several routes: from Marseilles to Lake Geneva and the Lower Valais region; from the Aosta Valley through the Great St. Bernard Pass to the rest of Valais; from the Rhone through Burgundy, across the Jura Mountains to Lake Constance; and from Lombardy to Ticino, and then on to Grisons.
Valais: Alpine wines with class
More than 20 varieties of grapes can yield wines in Valais that are full of character. A large number of them grow on spectacular, steep slopes. Sealed off by mighty chains of mountains, old plantings like Petite Arvine, Amigne and Cornalin have survived in Valais, and today they are highly sought-after by wine enthusiasts. The highest vineyards in Europe are also found in Valais: the Savignin vines (known here as “Heida”), rooted in the mountain community of Visperterminen.
Didier Joris is a legendary figure in the Valais, where the history of wine would be unthinkable without him. He grew up in a farming family that initially concentrated on raising cattle. To this very day, Didier still raves about «his Queens», the Hérens fighting cows. It was only during the 1960s and 1970s that the Joris family began to terrace slopes to plant vines and cultivate vineyards.
As the family did not have much expertise in this sector at that time, young Didier attended the Agricultural College of Châteauneuf. From there he went on to complete an internship in Germany, where he not only gained experience in viticulture, but also as a baker, butcher and in wine laboratories. After qualifying at Changins, he began working as a lecturer and researcher at the College of Oenology and Viticulture at the age of 21. He taught such greats as Marie-Thérèse Chappaz, Jean-René Germanier, Denis Mercier, Marie Bernard Gillioz and numerous other talents.
The wine with the bees
What does the Amigne have to do with bees? This white Valais specialty is the flagship of the village of Vétroz. It is distinguished by its aromas of orange and tangerine and by its lively acidity. Above all, it covers the whole spectrum of wine types, from bone dry to nobly sweet. And this is where the bees come into play. To help consumers know what type they are getting, the winemakers from Vétroz have produced a logo: one bee on the bottle signifies a dry wine, two bees mean semisweet and three bees stand for a sweet variety. Tip: try the dry or slightly sweet version with a poultry pâté. The sweet wines harmonize perfectly with fruit desserts like tarte Tatin. By the way: all of the wines from Amigne can age quite excellently.