Prié blanc is the official Italian name of the early
ripening grape cultivar traditionally grown in a small area at the foot of Mont
Blanc in the Aosta Valley, on the southern side of the western Alps (Di
Rovasenda, 1877). Previous official name was that of Blanc de Morgex, later
replaced by the local name Prié blanc. A synonym popular in the past was that
of Agostenga, alluding to the early ripening. With this name it was grown for
table consumption and wine-making in northern Italy and especially in Piedmont
(Molon, 1906). From here and from the Aosta valley was introduced in the Swiss
Valais through the Gran San Bernardo pass, hence the name Bernarde reported for
the region north of the Alps (Berget, 1904). It 'also known in Germany (with
the name Grüne Seidentraube) and in other countries of Central and Northern
Europe, where it was grown both outdoors and in greenhouses. Some authors
reject the correspondence between Agostenga and Prié blanc, claiming for the
latter the origin as offspring from Luglienga (Vouillamoz and Moriondo, 2011).
While confirming the kinship of first degree with the latter variety, already
noted (Schneider et al., 2010), we agree with the authors of the past
considering Prié corresponding to the historic "Vine of August."
Since the first mention of Agostenga refers to Piedmont (Croce, 1606), it is
commonly regarded that this grape spread to Europe from Italy. Lacombe and
coll. (2012) proposed it originates from the two varieties presumably Italians,
Luglienga bianca (Lignan) and Bermestia bianca.
In addition to the historical areas, where only in the Aosta valley has
a reasonable interest for viticulture,
it was recently shown that Prié blanc is synonym of Legiruela, a minor
grape from the southern slopes of Central Plateau in Spain, and that other
varieties from Spain are linked to it by kinship (Schneider et al.,
Thanks to the very early ripening, Prié blanc provides
fresh white wines from the traditional growing area in the upper Aosta Valley (DOP
Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle), where it is grown up to altitudes of over 1000
meters above sea level. It gives dry still wines, sparkling méthode
champenoise and ice wines.