By Lisa Rowlands

Despite a history dating back some two-thousand years, Amigne remains an extremely rare grape variety whose resultant wines are a mystery to many - even those within the industry. Today it is grown exclusively in the Valais region of Switzerland, with three-quarters of its forty or so hectares located in parcels around the village of Vétroz.

The sugar content of Amigne wines varies with each vintage, and depending upon the vinification choices of the producer they can range from crisp and dry to sweet and syrupy. Since 2005, it has been obligatory for producers in Vétroz to include sugar content information on their labels in the form of a bee graphic (one bee for a dry wine, two bees for semi-sweet, three bees for a sweet wine), thus enabling consumers to make more informed product choices.

A vigorous variety, Amigne grows in loose bunches allowing the grapes a longer time on the vine where they ripen with great aromatic complexity in the alpine sunshine. The grapes are then dried and pressed, and in the capable hands of the master Swiss wine-maker, are vinified to produce full-bodied, aromatic wines that reach optimum drinking pleasure after almost a decade in the cellar.