The white grape variety comes from the Swiss/Italian border region. Synonyms are Amigne Blanche, Amique, Grande Amigne, Grosse Amigne and Petite Amigne. According to an unverifiable hypothesis, it is said to derive from the ancient vine Vitis Aminea, described by Horace (65-8 BC) and sung about by Virgil (70-19 BC). The variety was first mentioned in the Swiss canton of Valais in 1686. According to DNA analyses carried out in 2011, there is a genetic relationship with the varieties Avanà (Piedmont) and Petit Meslier (Champagne). It would therefore be a descendant of the leading varieties Traminer (Savagnin Blanc) and Gouais Blanc. In Switzerland, it is classified in the Old Growths grape variety group.
The medium to late ripening vine is susceptible to trickling and small berries (millerandage). It produces acidic white wines with aromas of citrus fruits. The variety is grown in the Swiss canton of Valais mainly around the town of Vétroz. Here, it is used to produce sweet dessert wines with the common name Flétri (meaning Trockenbeerenauslese). In 2010, 43 hectares of vineyards were designated.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)