The Diolinoir variety from Valais in Switzerland is especially popular with the younger generation of wine drinkers. Diolinoir wines are a strikingly intense dark red colour. They have a restrained, berry-like bouquet.
Diolinoir variety: intense colour and concentrated structure
This red grape is a new Swiss cultivar introduced in 1970. Diolinoir resulted from crossing the Valais varieties Rouge de Diolly and Pinot noir. André Jaquinet from the Swiss ACW federal research institute in Pully created it by pollinating Rouge de Diolly (aka Robin noir) with pollen from Pinot noir.
The Diolinoir grape variety has very good resistance to rot. The grape berry is medium-large, oblong and compact. The intention was to provide winemakers with a grape variety that had a concentrated structure, good depth of tannins and intense colour. Diolinoir is used mainly as a blending variety. It is routinely used in blends for Dôle, the best-known red wine from Valais.
Good conditions for the modern grape variety Diolinoir
The Diolinoir grape is currently cultivated on around 112 hectares, mostly in Valais. On good sites Diolinoir produces a fine, full-bodied wine with an intense colour and good tannins. To allow all the aroma and flavour components to develop fully, the Diolinoir grape needs an excellent ripening process. A moderate extraction of Diolinoir followed by barrique-ageing produces muscular red wines with mild tannins that leave a well-structured and fruity impression on the palate.