Amigne and Humagne did not arrive with the Romans
There are many legends about the origins of Valais wine. They often confirm that our ancestral grape varieties were brought in by Roman garrisons. But it’s important to know that Latin writers did not have the same notions about grape variety that we have today.
They grouped together under one name an entire population of plants that correspond today to several distinct grape varieties. These grapes were planted together and were undoubtedly subject to multiple crossings. It took several generations before our modern grapes were established. It’s not really possible to speak of the botanical identity of the “grape varieties” of Latin writers and today’s grapes.
Amigne is found in Vinum Amenum, a Roman mention reportedly found in Middle Ages manuscripts in Sion – except that ampelographers and historians can find no trace of it. For Latin writers, Vitis aminea regroups at least six separate varieties. It’s therefore impossible to put Amigne into such a “grape variety” from the Roman era. In addition, Amigne is thought to have shared its etymology with the Aminées. Humagne is the object of another, similar fantasy. The Vinum humanum (Humagne Wine) is part of 12th century manuscripts – except that the existence of these has never been proven and no Latin writers mention Vinum humanum. The hypothesis that Humagne was brought in by Romans has no foundation.
Rèze alone may be a distant cousin of the ancient variety Raetica, a white grape that was widespread in northern Italy during the Roman era.
Source: Histoire de la Vigne et du Vin en Valais, «Encépagement du Valais entre l’époque romaine et le XIXe siècle», José Vouillamoz, genticist and ampelographer.