Vino Vino Situation presents Torrette Valle d'Aosta DOP by Les Cretes. In the mountainous Valle d'Aosta region, winemakers face challenges but are rewarded with great quality.

The wine of the week, Torrette Valle d’Aosta, comes from the Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta in Italian), the smallest and least populated region of Italy, at the border with Switzerland and France. Valle d’Aosta is also one of Italy’s five “special statute” regions, meaning that the regional government has more powers than usual.

The inhabitants have their own mix of languages and dialects, unique history and traditions, along with fairytale-like landscapes. It almost feels like being in another country! This is the beauty of Italy, incredibly diverse from South to North.

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The Valle d’Aosta region is situated among the Alps, surrounded by some of the highest mountains in Europe: Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and Gran Paradiso. The Alps make it the perfect destination for winter sport lovers, but Valle d’Aosta has a very interesting winemaking tradition as well.

Steep slopes, high altitude, and severe winters didn’t prevent locals from valorizing their territory in all fields, including winemaking. The conditions are so challenging to deserve the label of “heroic viticulture.” In Southern Italy, you have something similar, although not so extreme, with Furore Bianco, from the Amalfi Coast, and the wines of Casa Vinicola Criserà, from the mountains of Calabria. You can read more about Italy’s “heroic wines” here.

The hills where Les Cretes produce Torrette Valle d'Aosta

A view of the Aosta Valley, where Torrette Valle d’Aosta is produced (Photo: Stefano Merli, Flickr)

Les Crêtes, a big winemaker in a little region

Les Crêtes is the company that makes Torrette Valle d’Aosta DOP, among other wines. The history of the Charrère family, owners of Les Crêtes, dates back to the 1700s. During the last century, they carried out a major work of requalification and recovery of local vine varieties. Today, Les Crêtes is the biggest operating company in the small territory of Aosta Valley, with an impressive production of 170,000 bottles per year.

Let’s get to the wine: Torrette Valle d’Aosta DOP Les Crêtes

Torrette Valle d’Aosta DOP is a still red wine, mainly made with Petit Rouge, the most commonly found red grape variety of the area. Refinement takes place in steel tanks, in order to be able to identify its characteristics without the influence that a wood barrel would have.

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Torrette color is ruby red with purple hues, with an aroma of alcohol-soaked fruit, and flowers such as roses and violets. At the tongue, it’s very fresh, fruity, and not too alcoholic—features that make Torrette easy to enjoy. It’s definitely a simple, yet elegant, wine.

 region of torrette valle d'aosta

Forte di Bard, or “Fort Bard” in Valle d’Aosta (Photo: Andrea Passoni, Flickr)

So, what should you pair with Torrette Les Crêtes?

Torrette Valle d’Aosta is not a particularly bodied wine, so it shouldn’t go with dishes that are too bold for it. You will definitely enjoy it with a nice charcuterie board. I am thinking of salumi and local cheeses such as fontina and toma, which have a mild flavor. Fish would be a good choice, too. I’d suggest boiled trout with lemon and potatoes, a typical dish of the Aosta Valley.

Enjoy your wine!


Wine maker: Les Crêtes
Name: Torrette Valle d’Aosta DOP
Region: Aosta Valley
Type: Still red wine
Grapes: Petit Rouge 70%, and a blend of local grapes (Mayolet, Tinturier, Cornalin, and Fumin)
Price: About $23


Working in wineries across Italy, I get to see how much passion goes into each bottle. With the Vino Vino Situation, every week I recommend a great Italian wine. These reviews are unsponsored and unsolicited. Salute!


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