Weekly Wine Quiz #33 – Aosta Valley

Wednesday is wine quiz time on Vino in Love but before we get to the quiz, here are the answers from last week’s edition.

Answers Wine Quiz #32


Q1: How many months does a Barbaresco have to age in oak before it can be put into commerce?

A1: Barbaresco DOCG has to age a minimum of 9 months in oak.

I’m aware that sites like Wine Searcher and Wikipedia claim that Barbaresco has to age a minimum of 1 year in oak but the DOCG law says otherwise (page 4). You can download all DOC/DOCG laws here. The DOCG law for Barbaresco was last modified in the March of 2014.

Q2: Fill in the gaps:

Aldo Conterno, who passed away in ___ at the age of 81, was considered Italy’s most talanted wine maker. He produced stunning single-vineyard Barolo and his winery, Poderi Aldo Conterno, is in present-day operated by his three sons. Before Conterno decided to produce wine in Piedmont he emigrated to San Francisco with the intention to produce wine in ___ but his plans were interrupted when he was drafted by the U.S: Army and sent to Korea. Conterno eventually returned to Italy and opened his own winery, Poderi Aldo Conterno, in the town of ___. Throughout his life, Conterno refused to age his Barolo in French oak because he believed that it ruins the taste of Barolo. Instead he preferred ___ oak.

A2: 2012, Napa Valley, Monforte d’Alba, Slavonian

Q3: True or False: Barolo Chinato is a white wine.

A3: False. Barolo Chinato is a red fortified wine.

Q4: Which one does not belong and why?

A) Picoutener

B) Morellino

C) Chiavennasca

D) Spanna

A4: B) Morellino. Picoutener, Chiavennasca and Spanna are names for Nebbiolo, whereas Morellino is a synonym for Sangiovese.

Q5: Even though Nebbiolo is considered the “King of Piedmont” it is not the region’s most-planted grape variety. That is Barbera which is planted in roughly 30% of all Piedmontese vineyards. Name two Piedmontese appellations which are dedicated to Barbera.

A5: Any two of these are sufficient: Barbera d’Alba, Barbera del Monferrato, Barbera Pinerolese, Barbera d’Asti,

Participation was very good this week even though there are no winners this time. So did you find the questions to be too difficult? I tried to come up with easier questions for this week’s quiz. Please let me know if you find them too difficult though. Of course, if you don’t know an answer you an always consult other sources of information including Google.

An honourable mention goes to Valerie (GirlsGottaDrink), Frank (Winetalks), Anatoli (Talk-A-Vino), Andy (No Website?) and Jeff (the drunken cyclist).


Wine Quiz #33 – Aosta Valley

On to this week’s quiz. We are continuing the Italian Regions theme and today we are focusing on the Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta in Italian). This means we are staying in Northern Italy.

The Aosta Valley is the smallest of Italy’s 20 regions and borders Switzerland to the north, France to the west, and the Piedmont the east and south. French is next to Italian one of the two official languages of the region. The Aosta Valley is an Alpine valley and is therefore by nature very mountainous. Severe, cold winters make any form of agriculture difficult but this hasn’t stopped the locals from growing grapes and making wine.

Producing wine in the Aosta Valley is difficult. Photo by Monica. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Winemaking in the Aosta Valley is difficult.
Photo by Monica. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Wines are produced in low quantities and grapes are almost exclusively harvested by hand. Winemaking in this terrain is much more labor intense than it is in neighboring regions and so Aosta Valley wines are, on average, rather highly priced but also of high quality.

The Aosta Valley has a rather unique and particular style of making wines which is influenced by its French and Piedmontese neighbours: Nebbiolo, Gamey and Dolcetto are often grown in the same vineyard. The same applies to white varieties and Chardonnay and Moscato are among the region’s preferred white varieties. Even though the Piedmont and France heavily influence the wines of the Aosta Valley, the region also has a few autochthonous grapes varieties including Fumin (red), Prie Blanc (white) and Petite Arvine (white). The latter one is also grown in Wallis, Switzerland.

Without further due, here are this week’s questions.

Q1: Roughly how much Aosta Valley wine is produced by cooperative wineries?

A) 25%

B) 50%

C) 75%

D) 100%

Q2: How many DOCG titles does the Aosta Valley have?

Q3: True or False: The Aosta Valley’s annual wine production is lower than the one of Piedmont.

Q4: Which one does not belong and why?

A) Nus

B) Chambave

C) Torrette

D) Bussia

Q5: Fill in the gaps:

The Aosta Valley is Italy’s smallest wine-producing region with an annual production of ___ cases.

Less than ___ quarter(s) of Aosta Valley wine qualifies for DOC status.

Prie Blanc is an autochthonous white grape variety from the Aosta Valley. More than 95% of the world’s Prie Blanc is grown around the village of ___.

Good luck everyone! Unlimited bragging rights are up for grabs again! The answers are coming next Wednesday together with the next edition of the wine quiz.



6 comments on “Weekly Wine Quiz #33 – Aosta Valley”

  1. Andy Andy Reply

    A1: C
    A2: 0
    A3: True
    A4: Bussia – It’s a subregion of Piedmont. The others are subregions of the Aosta Valley
    A5: 36.000; one; Morgex

    Had to look up a few!

  2. winetalks winetalks Reply

    I thought about skipping this one because I know almost nothing about Aosta Valley wine.

    1) C
    2) 1
    3) True I guess. Would really surprise me if that statement turns out to be false.
    4) Bussia – According to Google the other 3 are regions in the Aosta Valley whereas Bussia is a subregion in Barolo.
    5) No clue; 2?; Morgex (I’m confident I have this one right because I’ve tasted Prie Blanc in the past)

    No more questions about obscure wine regions please!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Some of the Italian regions are more well-known for their wines than others but I try to come up with more general questions for the next quiz. Thanks for playing though, Frank!

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