Vuillermin is a variety of grape that is utilised for producing red wine. This rare species of grape is very close to extinction as it can be seen only in a few vineyards near the areas called Chatillon and Chambave.
For a long time, many thought that Vuillermin was extinct (which happens very commonly to many varieties of indigenous grapes).
The mother vine was rediscovered by researchers from the Institut Agricole Régionale in the Aosta Valley near the institute itself at the time of 1980s. It was found in a few secluded vineyards near the Pontey and Chatillon.
In the year 1838, a variety of red grape was documented by an Italian ampelographer called Lorenzo Gatta, which was grown in the Aosta Valley which he named Eperon (or Spron).
An ampelographer called Giulio Moriondo in the year 1999, found certain similarities between Vuillermin and Spron/Eperon which suggested the idea that both might belong to the same variety of dark-skinned grape.
In the year 1890, Vuillermin was first documented by L. N. Bich in Bulletin du Comice Agricole.
Many ampelographers believe that Vuillermin was named after a local family living in the Aosta Valley that helped in propagating the growth of this kind of grape.
Later in the year 2011, DNA analysis showed that Vuillermin actually descended from a variety from the red Aosta called Fumin and another unknown variety of grapevine that has currently become extinct.
Vuillermin was itself was on the verge of getting extinct, when it got rediscovered again. The vine was brought to the nursery of the Institut by the ampelographers for further analysis.
Their goal was to bring back the vitality of the grapevine and educate the local growers regarding so that it can be propagated again.
Only a few producers are in charge of growing Vuillermin and making varietal that include Institut Agricole Régionale Aoste and Feudo di San Maurizio.
It comes from the Valle d’Aosta which is located in the extreme north-western parts of Italy, which is near the Switzerland border.
It is a very rare quality of dark-skinned grape which was named Vuillermin in the year 1890.
In the year 2000, about 0.1 hectares (which is roughly 0.25 acres) of land was used for the plantation of vine of Vuillermin in three distinct vineyards across the Aosta Valley.
Apart from the cultivation of this variety in the Aosta Valley, there are other areas such as the nursery of the Institut Agricole Régional who engaged themselves in extensive research and experimentation.
Many individual growers are also involved in growing this particular variety of red grapevines in the areas of Sarre and Chambave.
When the wine grapes that are ready for preparing wines are ripe enough for a harvest, it completes the process of ripening which is an important phased of viticulture.
Vuillermin is known to be a late ripening variety of grapevine. This can be challenging to viticulture in the areas or regions having a cool climate which includes the Aosta Valley (as it sustains only short growing seasons).
This difficulty in sustaining the climate of may have been the primary cause in the earlier extinction of this particular variety of grape.
This grape variety is hardly seen as a varietal as it is mostly used for blending purposes in the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wines that belong to Valle d’Aosta.
In the many years preceding the discovery of Vuillermin, it has been called by many other names such as Spron and Eperon.
The wines that are made out of Vuillermin are highly tannic. Tannins are chemical compounds that are found abundantly in the skins, stems and seeds of the grape.
They are quite necessary for a wine’s profile as it is to a certain extent important for the taste, essence and sensory properties.
It is also responsible for stabilizing the red pigment by attaching with the anthocyanins. The Vuillermin grapes are structured, intensely perfumed, dry and full bodied.
Flavours that include the toasty notes that are acquired from oak along with red ripe fruits are contained in the wines made of Vuillermin.
Editor-in-Chief and Wine Writer
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂