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The Grosjean family traces its roots back to the village of Fornet in the high mountain passes of the Valle d’Aosta known as Valgrisenche where they raised cattle. During the summer months, the family cultivated grapes and chestnuts on the slopes at lower altitude, stocking up on wine to supply themselves over the long winters.
In 1969, Dauphin Grosjean, the father of the five sons that now collaborate to produce the wines of this estate, was encouraged to present his wine at the local "wine expo." The exceptional quality of his work was recognized and the entire family became engaged in the expansion of the vineyards and in the production of wine.
The estate has now grown to encompass seven hectares of vineyards. The domaine is located in the hamlet of Ollignan on the border of the towns of Quart and Saint Christophe and includes "cru" vineyard sites such as Tzeriat, Rovettaz, Creton and Touren in Quart, plus Tzantè de Bagnere, Merletta and Castello di Pleod in Saint Christophe. After starting out with the traditional Petit Rouge along with some Gamay, Pinot Noir and Petite Arvine, the Grosjeans have planted other local varietals such as Fumin, Cornalin, Premetta and Vuillermin. Sustainable farming techniques have been in place since 1975: only organic fertilizers are applied and no pesticides or herbicides are used (certified organic in 2011). Natural yeasts are utilized for fermentation.
"With 60 family members working at the winery, Grosjean is most likely the largest family-run winery in all of Italy. Happily, the accumulated experience and passion for their region’s traditions and a drive for quality ensure that the winery is also known for the many standout white and red wines made every year. All of the region’s typical cultivars are farmed, and those that aren’t (they stopped producing Mayolet with the 2010 vintage, for example) are the object of intensive vineyard searches in order to start making wines from them again. It comes as no surprise, then, that the family will soon be planting another 4,500 square meters of the rare local native Premetta grape and are looking to plant Mayolet as well. The estate is perhaps best known for its Petite Arvine and Fumin wines, and more importantly, for wines that age exceptionally well, including their Pinot Noir and Torrette wines."
"Founded in 1969 by Delfino Grosjean, who mainly raised livestock but decided to try his hand at winemaking and so proceeded to plant vines. In a sign of how times change and how much progress Italian wine has made over the years, he planted the varieties that were recommended to him at the time: believe it or not, those were Barbera, Merlot and Ciliegiolo (and in fact, in 1969 he made, unbelievably enough, a monovariety Ciliegiolo from the Valle d’Aosta). In 1971 the estate rethought its vineyards and planted Pinot Noir and Gamay in the Tzeriat vineyard, the oldest on the estate; those vines will be replanted this year because too many are diseased or dead. The estate has been practicing organic farming since 2011 and was certified in 2015. Their Pinot Noirs age splendidly well; the Prëmetta is outstanding and to the best of my knowledge currently the only example of a still wine made in the Valle d’Aosta from this variety; the Cornalin is remarkably good too. I hope they will resume producing a Mayolet soon, as theirs was exceptional."
The New York Times: Treasures of the Alps
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