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Old growths

Common name in Switzerland (French: vieux plants) for the mostly very old autochthonous grape varieties cultivated mainly in the canton of Valais. Some of them originate from the Italian region of Aosta Valley, which lies across the border, and some are also cultivated there. The two areas form a cross-border geographical island with a common pool of grape varieties. Many of these varieties form individual groups with kinship links that have developed over centuries. The sometimes very close genetic links are due to the geographical isolation. The Swiss biologist Dr. José Vouillamoz (University of Neuchâtel) studied a hundred varieties from the Swiss Valais, as well as from the Italian regions of Aosta Valley, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino and Friuli..

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Andreas Essl
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