They Sure Love Fontina in Valle d’Aosta! #ItalianFWT

Italian Food Wine & Travel Visits Valle d’Aosta
Where in the world is Valle d’Aosta?  It’s a very small region tucked into the far northwestern corner of Italy, bordering both Switzerland and France.  As you might imagine, food and wine from Valle d’Aosta share characteristics with products from the mountain cultures of those two countries.

Tiny Italian region tucked far into the northwest corner of Italy. Bordering the Piemonte, Switzerland and France. map courtesy of

Tiny Italian region tucked far into the northwest corner of Italy. Bordering the Piemonte, Switzerland and France. map courtesy of

Alpine Food & Wine
Fontina Valle d’Aosta cheese is a favorite, and it clearly has close ties to Swiss-made mountain cheeses. If you’re looking for it, try to find the real thing from Valle d’Aosta.  It will have a green paper label on the outer edge of the cheese. Fontina is found in many dishes of the region such as the zuppa we chose, but also fonduta – a Valle d’Aosta twist on fondue which incorporates egg yolks in the dish.

We rounded out our Zuppa with a sausage and some roasted heirloom carrots.

We rounded out our Zuppa di Cavolo con Fontina with a sausage and some roasted heirloom carrots.

As you continue to search for Valle d’Aosta foods, you’ll find more recipes featuring Fontina, it’s everywhere.  Lucky for us, we love Fontina cheese.  The smooth paste and lightly stinky washed rind aroma are irresistible!

Blanc de Morgex

Even the grapes don’t sound Italian: Blanc de Morgex is made from Prié Blanc

Pavese Ermes Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle DOP 2012 ($25  from Sunfish Cellars)
Eye: Slightly cloudy, very light warm yellow with green highlights
Nose: Mineral, reminds of Sancerre, green apples, white flowers. Julie describes the nose as old musty bookshelf, old roll-top desk just opened (but in an interesting, good way!)
Mouth: Light body, mineral flavor, not tartly acidic but mouthwatering. Long mineral finish, lots of tension.

From the importer:
A stunning wine from the highest vineyard site in Europe, with annual production of about 12,000 bottles of this austere, racy, mineral white wine  with vivacity and length.


Torrete is a very high toned, racy light bodied red wine, reflecting the cool mountain climate.

Chateau Feuillet Valle d’Aosta Torrette 2013 ($25 from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant)
Eye: Clear, transparent garnet red with purple edge. Color is similar to  a young PN.
Nose: Forest faint evergreen, red fruit.
Mouth: Medium light body, savory impression. Red fruit. Low tannins but very good acidity. Torrette reminds me a bit of the  high altitude reds from Alto Adige.

From Kermit Lynch:
The wine is made from 90% Petit Rouge and 10% Mayolette. The vineyards are at 900 meters altitude and are composed of sandy soil over granite.

The Blanc di Morgex paired best with the Zuppa

The Blanc di Morgex paired best with the Zuppa

Wine Pairing with Zuppa di Cavolo con Fontina
The Paves Ermese Blanc di Morgex was the winner between the two wines with the dish. The bright red fruit in the Torrette never found an element in the food to pair with.  A nice wine, it simply needed a different dish.  The Paves Ermese, on the other hand was a wonderful match.  The crisp minerality was a nice contrast to the cabbage and stinky nature of the fontina.  It was also a great palate cleanser for the rich casserole and the sausage.

Italian Food Wine & Travel Group Posts
Interested in more great Valle d’Aosta suggestions?  Check out the other posts from members of our group.  Join our discussion on Twitter at #ItalianFWT on Saturday November 1st, at 10am CST.

Zuppa from the Valle d'Aosta, it could be hot dish in Minnesota!

Zuppa from the Valle d’Aosta, it could be hot dish in Minnesota!

Zuppa di Cavolo con Fontina “Bread, Cabbage and Fontina Soup”
This hearty dish is more a casserole or hot dish than a soup, although it will depend how much liquid you use and how much you allow to cook off. It’s easy to prepare and unique. As with most cucina povera (kitchen of the poor), a few simple ingredients are all you need. The full recipe is at Rustico Cooking along with some other Valle d’Aosta Fontina recipes to try.

valle_daosta_fontina_italianFWT 20151018 131

17 Responses to “They Sure Love Fontina in Valle d’Aosta! #ItalianFWT”
  1. arneis2013 says:

    Love Valle d’Aosta! Crazy about fontina. Delightful post, Jeff.

  2. Cooking Chat says:

    Some tasty dishes & pairings. I’d forgotten that I used fontina for the region for my pesto, until I read your post.

  3. Very interesting recipe. It looks tasty with your sausage and grilled carrots. I love the label of the wine you and David selected. It is so joyful. Thanks Jeff!

  4. TheWiningHour says:

    Fontina is very tasty. I enjoyed reading about how you used it.

  5. culinarycam says:

    I will definitely buy Fontina for the third time…and hide it from my boys!

  6. What a mouthwatering and informative post Jeff! I was intrigued by the Aosta Valley red I had. Now I must find a white!

  7. I had to read your post twice. I thought you make zuppa di cavalo, which is soup of the horse ; ). I was wondering where you got that here in the states.

  8. Loved this region-your food selections sound wonderful and comforting. I’m going to look for your red wine pairing, we also tried the same white & enjoyed it. Love Julie’s description of old musty bookshelf.

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