Founded in 1989 by Costantino Charrere and Jolanda Plat, Les Cretes is one of only a few commercial wineries in the quaint region of Valle D'Aosta. The winery is located in Aymavilles with the cellar lying one mile from Monte Bianco tunnel.
Originally from France, the Charrère family moved in the mid 1700s to what is now the Aosta Valley of Italy. They started out as farmers and millers, establishing a home site and building a water powered mill on their property in Aymaville.
In 1955 the Charrères planted their first two hectares of grapes, focusing on making quality wines out of the indigenous vinifera varieties grown in the Aosta Valley. Les Crêtes vineyards are located along the Aosta Valley’s Dora Baltea river and are distributed among vineyard blocks in six different villages; Saint Pierre, Aymavilles, Gressan, Sarre, Aosta and Saint Christophe. Plant densities in the vineyards range from 7,000 to 8,000 vines per hectare.
Les Crêtes produces its wines in a very specific context, characterized by high mountains, sandy slopes and alpine temperatures. Attention to the environment, cultivation techniques combined with specialized research and experimentation are the key aspects to our reality, which has an intrinsic and focused link with the surrounding habitat. Each activity is carried out with the greatest dedication and care, in relation to the quality and passion that distinguishes us.
Les Crêtes philosophy continues to follow the values ??of past generations valuing the “terroir” with loyalty and respect for tradition. The look, however, is always open to the future of innovation that allows us to express the wealth of a of a wine mountain territory : unique and unforgettable.
Claiming an impressive list of autochthonous varieties, Valle d'Aosta is a long, narrow valley, formed by Italy’s extreme northwestern Alps. The region, a natural gateway between Italy and France, is also home to many grape migrants from France and its more southerly Italian neighbors. Not surprisingly, wine labels are often written in Italian and French.
The main whites here include: Petite Arvine and Prié blanc (Blanc de Morgex). For reds: Fumin, Cornalin, Mayolet, Petit Rouge, Premetta, Vuillermin, Neblou, and Vien de Nus are unique to the region. French ones that do well are Gamay noir, Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot gris (confusingly called Malvoisie in Aosta but it is not related to Malvasia). Italian grapes common here include Moscato, Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, and from farther away, Ciliegiolo.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.