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Valle d’Aosta is located in northwest Italy. Surrounded by the Alps, the Valle d’Aosta is home to the highest elevated vineyards in all of Europe. Founded in 1989 by Costantino Charrere and Jolanda Plat, Les Cretes is one of only a few commercial wineries in the quaint region of Valle D'Aosta. Comprised of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, as well as the indigenous varieties of Petit Rouge, Fumin, Petite Arvine and Gros Rouge, with 25 hectares of vineyard in 6 communes along the river Dora Baltea. Until recently, their entire annual production of a few thousand cases was sold entirely within Italy.
Originally from France, the Charrère family moved in the mid 1700s to what is now the Aosta Valley of Italy. They started out as farmers and millers, establishing a home site and building a water powered mill on their property in Aymaville. In 1955 the Charrères planted their first two hectares of grapes, focusing on making quality wines out of the indigenous vinifera varieties grown in the Aosta Valley. In 1989 the Charrères enlarged the original estate and built the Les Crêtes winery. The old mill and home site will soon be restored for use as an agritourism destination.
Because the Charrères believe great wines always start with quality grapes, vineyard management at Les Crêtes is firmly based on a meticulous agronomic management system. Spraying to control diseases is kept to a minimum to protect the regions delicate terroir and to follow the new E.U. rural policies for preserving mountainous areas. The soils that have developed over the centuries on the glacial morain hillsides around Aymaville are composed of a mixture of sand and calcareous rocks. Les Crêtes vineyards are located at relatively high mountain elevations (600 to 1,000 m. /1,970 to 3,280 ft.), and due to the high elevation climatic conditions, the harvests at Les Crêtes often begin in late autumn. This gives the grapes time to ripen while exposed to a wide variation in day and night temperatures, a natural process which adds to the unique aromatic character and flavour profile of the resulting wines. Les Crêtes produces its wines in a very specific context, characterized by high mountains, sandy slopes and alpine temperatures.Attention to the environment, cultivation techniques combined with specialized research and experimentation are the key aspects to each wines production.
Terroir: Loose, sandy, moraine soil. North-eastern and southern exposure. Altitude 550 to 750 metres ( 1,804 to 2,460 feet)
Vinification: Gentle pressing, fermentation in 300 litres (87 gal). french oak barrels. First and second fermentation "sur lies", 10 months continual bâtonnage. Bottle aged for 12 months.
Food Pairing: soups, pasta, fondue, pie, foie gras, cheese and vegetable based omelettes, fish, white and red roasted meat, medium seasoned, high butter fat cheeses, flans.
Vinous Media 93 Points
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