Petit rouge: general information

general information managed by Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante - CNR
How to cite this source Schneider A., Ruffa P., Raimondi S., 2013. Petit rouge. In: Italian Vitis Database,, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Ager Foundation
botanical information
Petit rouge
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
Official name
Petit rouge N.
documented synonyms (1)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
released clones (4)
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
Historical references

Rather diversified forms of this variety (Moriondo, 1999) are cited as present in the Aosta Valley since 1838, when they appear in the writings by Francesco Lorenzo Gatta. This author ascribed these forms to the group of 'Oriou picciou', i.e. Oriou with small-berry to differentiate them from those with large-berry (Oriou gros). These last Oriou likely belong to the variety we know today as Vien de Nus. Even later writers such as Louis Napoleon Bich (1896) and Adrien Berget (1904) classified and consider these forms of Oriou (the today Petit rouge) as distinct. According to Gatta the name Oriou was used for this variety along the valley between Saint-Vincent and Nus, while the name of Picciourouzo (Petit rouge) prevailed near the town of Aosta.

For the etymology of the name Oriou several assumptions have been advanced. The more recent hypothesis closely links the variety to the Aosta valley, because Orioux would be an inhabited hamlet near Saint-Vincent located 600 m above sea level. This place, un-cultivated today, was once equipped with a must press in common use (Vouillamoz and Moriondo, 2011).

Oriou as a variety native of the Aosta valley was first advanced by Berget (1904). This assumed origin matches with the results of recent genetic analyses, which suggest for Petit rouge direct or indirect kinship relationships with some local varieties including Cornallin, Fumin, Vien de Nus and Roussin (Vouillamoz and Moriondo, 2011).

distribution & variation

The different forms of Oriou mentioned in the past and partly retrieved in the vineyards today (Moriondo, 1999) have all been attributed to the single grape variety Petit rouge. Among these different forms, Petit rouge or Oriou Lombard is the most common, Oriou picciou the less vigorous, Oriou gris exibitspoorly colored berries, while Oriou voirard and Oriou curant are prone to more or less intense coulure.

Petit rouge is one of the most cultivated grapes in the Aosta valley, from Saint-Vincent to Avise along both banks of the Dora river (Moriondo, 1999).

technological use

Petit rouge is a fertile and productive variety. It generally provides wines to be consumed within the second year of production. Wines have an attractive and bright ruby red color, low acidity and a typical scent of red fruits and, at times, wild roses. Many PDO red wines from the Valle d'Aosta, notably those from the areas of Nus, Torrette and Enfer d'Arvier, are made from Petit rouge grapes.

bibliographies (6)
authors year title journal citation
Berget A. 1904 Orious In: Ampélographie, par Viala P. et Vermorel V., Tome V.
Bich L.-N. 1896 Monographie des cépages de la Vallée d'Aoste et leur systèmes de culture Imp. L. Mensio, Aoste
Dalmasso G., Reggio L. 1964 Petit rouge Principali vitigni da vino coltivati in Italia, Ministero dell'Agricoltura e Foreste. Longo & Zoppelli, Treviso
Gatta L. F. 1838 Saggio intorno alle viti ed ai vini della Valle d'Aosta Ristampa 1971. F.lli Enrico editori. Aosta.
Moriondo G. 1999 Vini e vitigni autoctoni della Valle d'Aosta Institut Agricole Régional. Aosta.
Vouillamoz J.F., Moriondo G. 2011 Origine des cépages valaisans et valdôtains. Ed. du Belvédère, Fleurier, CH
updated at 2020-05-19 17:31:13 (4 years ago)