Italian Indigenous Varieties: Crovassa Nera from Valle d’Aosta

Valle d'Aosta

Crovassa Nera is a red grape variety that hails from the Valle d’Aosta. It is said to produce a delicate and medium-bodied wine with a slightly astringent note and modest alcohol. The grape is a large one that is not particularly impacted by parasites. I couldn’t find a lot of information about about the grape either on- or off-line.

The Aosta valley itself is somewhat separated from the rest of Italy, both culturally and geographically. The same can be said of its viticulture. Aosta has much in common with Switzerland and France in terms of traditions and grape varieties. It is an exquisite part of Italy to visit for skiing in the winter and excursions in the summer. Many of the vineyards are farmed in what is known as “eroic” viticulture techniques because of the steep slopes and gritty soils on which they grow.

I’ve written about this region often because it is one that fascinates me and whose wines I favor. At Vinitaly I always spend some time tasting through various wines from the region with the very knowledgeable sommeliers who preside over the tables.

Sommelier - Valle d'Aosta

When I started this project in 2009 on Alta Cucina Society’s blog, I had no idea that it would be so involved and take so long just to get to the third letter of the alphabet. This year I am more consistent writing about one grape variety a week so perhaps I will move more quickly through the alphabet. As Cavafy writes so eloquently in my favorite poem, Ithaca, it is not the arrival but rather the journey that counts.

Today is the end of the “c” grape varieties, while I may have missed a few, I have written about 86 Italian varieties that start with the letter “C”. Moving on to “D” next week, I’m looking forward to exploring new varieties. I like this series on my blog because it always leads me to discover new resources on the web including this one, 20 mondi.

I take great pride in having visited and explored all of the 20 regions of Italy throughout the years so the name and the project greatly appeal to me. Check it out.

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