Arvine is a white grape variety grown mainly in Valais, Switzerland and Italys
Valle d Aosta, the grape variety is so named for its small berries. A native of
the town of Chamoson in the Swiss Valais, it was introduced to Valle d’Aosta in
the 1970s by the Institut Agricole of Valle d’Aosta. The Petite prefix was
initially given to distinguish from the lesser-quality Grosse Arvine grape
variety, which is no longer used to make wine on a commercial scale. Petite
Arvine is early budding and late ripening, and is somewhat fussy in the vineyard.It
needs sunny sites that are protected from the wind so its grapes can reach full
ripeness, which can be up to a month after Chasselas.
Vineyards in the region are built on the banks of Dora Baltea River, on
terraces built into the slopes out of stone, the vines are trained on pergolas
about 3 feet off the ground. The stones retain heat from the sun and radiate
this back into the vineyard in the evening to help with ripening.