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Humagne rouge

Humagne rouge is an indigenous alpine variety that has been grown in Valais since the 20th century. This late-ripening grape likes the dry climate of the Upper Rhône Valley.

Humagne rouge: at home in the Alps

Humagne rouge was first mentioned around 1900 in the grape variety inventory of the Valais municipality of Fully. How it came by its name is unclear as it is not related to Humagne blanche, the white grape established in Valais since the Middle Ages. According to the latest research, the red Humagne grape came from the Italian Aosta Valley and is identical to the Cornalin d’Aoste variety that grows there. It reached the Rhône Valley via the Great St Bernard Pass.
In the 1960s there were only a few individual pockets of vines in Valais where Humagne rouge could still be found. The variety was on the brink of extinction. About 30 years ago, Valais winemakers began to see the potential of their traditional varieties and then started to produce more wine from Humagne rouge again. Today some 130 hectares are planted with this variety.

Wine made from Humagne rouge: perfect with game

The large dark-blue grapes of Humagne rouge produce ruby red to purple coloured wines with intense aromas. Drunk young, the Humagne rouge wines have a clear, cool bouquet of ripe forest berries, bracken and violets. The wines are initially soft, but then become concentrated with compact tannins on the palate. They then go excellently with lamb, partridge and flavourful stews. After three to five years in the bottle, the tannins become more rounded and the fruit gives way to notes of undergrowth and wild mushrooms, at which point Humagne rouge wine makes the ideal accompaniment to game dishes such as roast venison or peppery venison stews.
Humagne rouge is also suitable for barrique-ageing. Further aromas then develop. Oaky notes also unfold naturally however, not just during barrel-ageing.

Humagne rouge wines