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The “veteran” Cave Mont Blanc and the wines refined at high altitude: a growing trend

Over 20 years ago the first project with the Alpine guides of Courmayeur, the Cuveè des Guides, created at over 2,000 meters on Mont Blanc

There are more and more “mountain wines”, refined at high altitude: from Valtellina to the Dolomites in Alto Adige, an ever-increasing number of wineries are choosing to adopt this method, involving the scientific and academic environments. A process that is not new, even for the prestigious Cave Mont Blanc de Morgex et La Salle winery, a true symbol of the relationship between winemaking and the majestic Mont Blanc, which, since 2022, has started a research project in Valle d’Aosta with the University of Turin to study the refinement of wine at different altitudes. But which, since 2003, had activated a collaboration project with the Alpine guides of Courmayeur on sparkling wine production at altitudes above 2,000 metres, which, in 2009, saw the opening of the first bottle of Cuveè des Guides (a particular Brut that ferments in stainless steel to referment, as tradition, in the bottle, but whose sparkling process takes place, from start to finish, at 2,173 meters above sea level, ed) a bubble created to celebrate this relationship.
A sector, that of Valle d’Aosta wine, which in the last years has been growing a lot in terms of quality, thanks to greater attention and awareness regarding its products, despite the difficult and delicate situation that the working environment entails for this type of extreme winemaking. The latest vintages, in fact, are evidently heterogeneous due to the climate which, although it is changing everywhere, affects the high altitude mountain areas in particular, due to the greater fragility of its balances. The measures, however, were certainly not long in coming: from more scrupulous management and meticulous use of irrigation to differentiated agronomic techniques, up to the installation of weather stations for better coordination of actions on the vines.
However, experiences and labels of this type are certainly a treasure and a heritage to be protected: from the wine produced from the highest vines in Europe, the Blanc de Morgex et La Salle, to the aforementioned Cuveè des Guides. With refinements at 1,000, 2,173 and just under 3,500 meters above sea level, these wines tell the extraordinary relationship between production and an important part of the Valle d’Aosta territory and a unique and precious story about the coexistence between man, wine and the mountain.

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