From: Valais, Switzerland
Varietal: Petite Arvine
Tasting Notes: Petite Arvine is the queen of the Valais “par excellence.” It is an internationally renowned white wine that originated in the Valais and remains a protected denomination of the AOC Valais. It is a delicate grape that ripens late and is sensitive to wind. Petite Arvine loves good sun exposure and provides wines with incomparable freshness and aromatic richness. This wine showcases all the best that the varietal has to offer: intense fragrances of exotic fruits and citrus such as grapefruit, with underpinnings of minerality and a touch of salinity. These flavors persist on the palate, which develops notes of rhubarb and more concentrated, sweeter floral components.
"This straw-colored wine offers aromas of pineapple, honeysuckle, grapefruit pith and almond blossom. In the mouth it has flavors of caramelized pineapple, white peach, apricot and guava. The mouthfeel is generous, with a burst of bright citrus in the finish." –Jeff Jenssen, Wine Enthusiast, 93 points
Pairing: Traditional pairings for Petite Arvine include seafood, shellfish, and alpine pasture cheeses. All of these would be delightful! As a starting point, we'll share Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Broiled Mussels (adapted from the Canal House cookbook, Vol. 5).
About. The Caves du Paradis winery and vineyards are located in the township of Sierre at the center of Switzerland’s Valais region. Winemaker Olivier Roten is the third generation in his family to produce wine in this mountainous area along the Rhone River. The Roten family’s vision has always been to preserve traditional grape varieties and to ensure that their wines reflect the unique alpine terroir in which they are grown. While implementing new techniques and approaches, Olivier remains true to the core family philosophy of using sustainable farming practices and intervening as little as possible in the winery. The winery has been in Organic conversion certification since 2019. The winery produces a selection of wines, focusing on several of the region’s most important indigenous varieties grown in the high-elevation mountain valleys of the Valais region, the largest grape-growing region in Switzerland.
Adam Lechmere paints a vivid picture of the Valais region of Switzerland in his article, Swiss Wine Is No Longer a Secret: "...southeast of [Lake Geneva], you have the Valais. This is classic Switzerland: geranium-bedecked stone-roofed chalets straggle up the valley between Toblerone-shaped peaks; in the cool autumn evenings the air smells of woodsmoke and rings with cowbells. It’s beguiling and slightly unreal, as if you’ve strayed through a time-space portal into a 1960s healthy-living ad."
Lechmere's article also spotlights Seattle-based importer Laine Boswell, who imports this wine (among others) made by her husband, Olivier Roten. "Laine Boswell reckons the way to Americans’ hearts is to sell 'the essence of my husband’s Alpine roots.'"
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