Avanà: general information

general information managed by Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante - CNR
How to cite this source Schneider A., Torello Marinoni D., Raimondi S., 2013. Avanà. In: Italian Vitis Database, www.vitisdb.it, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Ager Foundation, Regione Piemonte
botanical information
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
Avanà N.
documented synonyms (1)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
wrong denominations (1)
wrong denominations indicated by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Vermaglio (Saluzzo, Cuneo province)
released clones (1)
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
  • berry
Historical references

Although the current Avanà cultivation is limited to the western Alpine valleys, Giovan Battista Croce, in the early seventeenth century includes the "Avanale" among the vines "from the Mountains around Turin" (Croce, 1606); meaning either "the hills to the south-east of Turin" or the whole hilly and mountainous system near Turin, including the Alpine valleys where viticulture was in the past quite widespread.

Almost two centuries later, Count Nuvolone (1798) mentions an "Avanà Cagnino" among the second grade grapes, we should not forget that there are not many Piedmontese varieties mentioned in the literature before the nineteenth century.

Of this time it is worth recalling Di Rovasenda's (1877) proposition,  mistakenly believing Avanà identical to the French Varenne, which is in fact identical to the well distinguishable Troyen.

The first ampelographic reference description for Avanà dates back to the mid-twentieth century (Dalmasso et al., 1964), followed by a more recent paper (Raimondi and Schneider, 2006); however, with the synonym of Hibou the vine is already described in nineteenth century texts, the first of which being the treatise on the vines of Savoy by Tochon (1868).

distribution & variation

Avanà is a typical grape of the western Alps. On the Italian side is currently grown in the upper Pinerolo region and throughout the Susa Valley for a total area of about ten hectares; however, it once was predominant especially in the vineyards of the High Dora valley, from Chiomonte to Salbertrand (Di Maio, 1997).

On the French side with the name Hivernais, Polofrais but more often Hibou, it was the main variety between the vines grown “ad alteno” (i.e. a vine to which you gave as tutor a fruit or leaf tree), practice widespread until the early nineteenth century (Rougier, 1905).

With the disappearance of “ad alteno” during post-phylloxera reconstitution of the vineyards, the Hibou has virtually disappeared from French vineyards and today it is not even registered in the French National Register of Grapevine Varieties.

Avanà being the same as Hibou (rouge or noir, because the Hibou blanc is a different genotype), has been fully confirmed by the use of DNA molecular markers (Schneider et al., 2001), which have also shown other synonyms between varieties typical of the two sides of the French-Italian Alps. A mutation of Avanà with red berries, lighter than normal, was recovered in the vineyards of Val di Susa thanks to a local grower.

technological use

Formerly used as a table grape, Avanà today is intended exclusively for winemaking. It’s a medium-early maturation grape.

It is always been criticized for giving a product maybe fruity and pleasant, but light, slightly alcoholic and therefore little preservable. Recent experiments have confirmed that the grapes of Avanà can give to the wine pleasant olfactory notes, but that the vinification of its bunches alone leads to a product of low color and unstable (Gerbi et al., 2005). It is therefore advisable to blend it with other grapes that can bring color and texture, such as the local Becuét or even Barbera. The use of pectolytic enzymes, which increase the extraction of colouring matter and tannin from the grapes, is an appropriate technique should one want to make varietal Avanà wine.

bibliographies (8)
authors year title journal citation
Croce G.B. 1606 Della eccellenza e diversità dei vini che nella montagna di Torino si fanno; e del modo di farli. In Torino, per Aluigi Pizzamiglio.
Dalmasso G., Celli C., Eynard I. 1964 Avanà Principali vitigni da vino coltivati in Italia, vol. III. Ministero dell'Agricoltura e Foreste. Longo & Zoppelli, Treviso
Di Maio M. 1997 Avënā, Biquèt, Nibiò, Müscat….Vigne, vendemmie e vini nell’Alta Valle della Dora Riparia. Valados Usitanos, Torino.
Gerbi V., Forgia M., Rolle L., Zeppa G., Schneider A., Cavallo L., Parisio M. 2005 Il Valsusa DOC. Dieci anni di sperimentazione in una terra di montagna. Stampa Graffio, Borgone di Susa (TO).
Nuvolone G. 1798 Sulla coltivazione delle viti e sul metodo migliore di fare e conservare i vini. Calendario georgico della Società Agraria di Torino.
Rougier L. 1905 Hibou. In: Viala P. e Vermorel V. Ampélographie, VI, 94-96. Ed. Masson, Paris.
Schneider A., Carra A., Akkak A., This P., Laucou V., Botta R. 2001 Verifying synonymies between grape cultivars from France and Northwestern Italy using molecular markers. Vitis 40, 4, 197-203.
Tochon P. 1868 Les cépages du département de la Savoie. Imprimerie Bonne, Conte-Grand & C., Chambery.
updated at 2016-11-14 11:57:15 (5 years ago)