Rèze grape

Ark of taste
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Rèze, also known as Resi (Haut-Valais) or Blanc de Maurienne and Blanc de l’Évêque (Savoy in France), is an early second-period vine native to the canton of Valais used for the production of white wine. The plant has small, light green, pentagonal leaves, finely blistered and without relief. The small to medium-sized bunch is conical, short, more or less compact and with non-woody peduncles. The yellow-green berries are medium-sized, elliptical, short and with soft, juicy, almost seedless pulp. The wines produced from this variety have a light structure with aromas of gooseberry, green apple and elderflower, with lively acidity and a resinous flavour that increases with age.

Until the end of the 19th century, Rèze was one of the oldest and most widespread vines in the Valais area; it is mentioned in 1313 in the famous Registre d’Anniviers under the name ‘regy’, derived from the then widespread surname Regis. Just like Humagne Blanc, in the mid-19th century this variety was drastically supplanted by other white grapes, such as Chasselas and Silvaner, which were easier to cultivate. DNA analyses carried out by the Valais ampelologist José Vouillamoz revealed the presence of Rèze in the Maurienne Valley (Savoie), where some vines were discovered thanks to the Grisard brothers under the name Blanc de l’Evêque, in Ardèche, where Olivier Yobrégat found some traces of it, and in the area of the French Jura Massif thanks to a discovery by Gaël Delorme. José Vouillamoz’s reconstruction of Rèze’s family tree shows that he had at least six natural offspring: Diolle and Grosse Arvine in the Valais, Poulsard Noir in the French Jura, Cascarolo Bianco in Piedmont (Italy), Groppello di Revò and Nosiola in Trentino (Italy).

Currently, the product is still available in the Valais, although in extremely small quantities compared to the production of the other Swiss varieties. Rèze has become a rarity produced by only a few passionate producers.

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Territory

StateSwitzerland
Region

Valais

Other info

Categories

Wines and grape varietals

Nominated by:Jean-Marc Imhof