Pinot Noir, the red that is everywhere
During the 19th century the red Pinot grape was known as Dôle in canton Vaud and Petite Dôle in Valais. People in Valais began to speak of Pinot Noir in 1848. The grape was seen first in the vineyards in Sierre and Salquenen before it was widely planted throughout the canton after the phylloxera crisis. The grape originated in Burgundy; it was the subject of many selections – today we talk about this grape variety’s several hundred different clonal selections. The most well-known ones used in Valais are: Pinot Valais, sélection Nicollier, Pinot Wädenswil, Pinot Oberlin and Pinot Cortaillod.
Pinot Blanc, Pinot this, Pinot that
Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are colour variations of one single grape variety, Pinot. Pinot Blanc came to Valais from France in 1923. It was a colour loss mutation of Pinot Noir. The same goes for Pinot Gris, known in Valais by the name Malvoisie.
Source: Histoire de la Vigne et du Vin en Valais, «Comment le Chasselas et le Pinot sont arrivés en Valais», José Vouillamoz, ampelographer.