Cave des Onze Communes

 

Cave des Onze Communes is a cooperative in Valle d’Aosta in the heart of the French-Italian Alps, with 60 hectares of vineyards strewn among eleven (Onze) alpine towns (Communes). Formed in 1990, this quality coop is putting the right crampon forward, concentrating on natives grapes and maintaining 100% organic vineyard work. The alpine viticulture here – on ancient glacier soils at 550-900 meters – is some of the highest in the world, and produces wines with twangy fruit,  eminently drinkable by themselves après-ski, or next to melted Toma or the local deer jerky called Mocetta. Onze Communes [OWNZ co-MOON] focuses on native varieties, with a few French and Swiss overlaps: smokey-black pepper Fumin, tart-musky-floral Mayolet, mineral-pungent Gamay, an acid-driven, mace-pimped Pinot Gris, and a floral-honeyed, yet chalky-dry, Petite Arvine. Evidently, skiers are thirsty folks, but we have managed to carve out some wine, and the pricing is ridiculously good for Valle d’Aosta. Stuff a bottle in your rucksack – these are solid alpine daily-drinkers.