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The white grape variety probably originates from Italy (or perhaps Spain). Synonyms are Bernarda, Bernarde, Bernardine, Blanc de la Salle, Blanc de Morgex, Blanc du Valdigne, Legiruela (Spain), Plant de la Salle, Prié Bianca, Prié Bianco and Prié Blanc. It originated in the Aosta Valley in Italy, where it was first mentioned in 1691. There used to be two varieties, one in Valdigne (upper part of the Valle d'Aosta) and one that has since disappeared in the municipality of Valpelline. At the beginning of the 19th century, it (as well as some other varieties) probably reached the Swiss canton of Valais via the Saint Bernard pass, which is why it is called Bernarde there. This pass is the link between the Valais Rhone Valley and the Aosta Valley at an altitude of 2,469 metres. Due to its origin and history, the variety is counted among the old-growth grape variety group in Switzerland.

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