Heritage Varone, 2007, Petite Arvine, AOC Valais, Varione Sion, White Wine from Switzerland
Main reason why so many of us know almost nothing about Suisse wine probably is the grade of dissemination. You cannot get it outside of Switzerland except in some specialized store and of course if you do some researches online. Another barrier is the high customs you have to pay for any Suisse product.
I also don’t know too much about Suisse wine unfortunately but any time I have a chance to drink some it is a very good experience.
Maybe already five years ago I had the pleasure to drink a white wine made out of the rare grape Petite Arvine. It seems to be a very old sort which is only planted probably only in the upper course of the Rhone valley in Suisse area called Valais (Wallis). It was a wine of the family Varone which produces wine since four generation. The vinery is located in Sion. Sion is a very old town – probably even founded by Romans – although the valley the Celts were first in this area. Due geographical conditions winters are rather cold but summer are much warmer than in other parts of Switzerland. Ideal of wine.
Varone produces and offers a big variety of wines but has very likeable relatedness to their valley and estate as their wines are made out of almost only local sorts of grape.
Although already eight years old the wine is still remarkable fresh. It is very rich and intensive, in a way fruity and a little bit bloomy. I read somewhere the wine tastes like wisteria which I think is a bit freighting as this is a toxic plant. But if you imagine the beauty and smell of it blossom I would agree with this description as a comparison of this wonderful wine. The freshness and even somehow wildness of the wine certainly comes also from the soil in the upper valley which is surrounded by impressive and rocky alps. This said, there is some – even salty – minerality in the wine which balances the exotic fruits which even remembers me to pineapple.
Since it becomes time to drink the wine now as I doubt it will become better while further maturing I shall taste a younger vintage soon.
The wine is perfect by its own, but you can have it with salad, rich vegetable soup or lobster.
You can find all information about the vinery at http://www.varone.ch/.