Common name in Switzerland (french: vieux plants) for the mostly very old autochthonous grape varieties, which are cultivated mainly in the canton of Valais (french: Valais). Some of them come from the Italian region of Aosta Valley, which lies over the border, and some are also cultivated there. The two areas form a cross-border geographical island with a large common pool of grape varieties. Many of these grape varieties form individual groups with kinship links that have developed over centuries. The sometimes very close genetic links are due to geographical isolation.
The Swiss biologist Dr. José Vouillamoz (University of Neuchâtel) examined one hundred varieties from the Swiss Valais, as well as from the Italian regions of Aosta Valley, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino and Friuli. The DNA characteristics were compared with more than a thousand varieties in the database of the University of California in Davis and many ancestry and relationships were clarified.