For centuries the ownership of salt mines meant wealth and power. The salt deposits at Bex, discovered in the 15th century, are still mined today. The salt mines are accessible to visitors, a museum depicts the mining of salt from 1684 to the present.
It is not know whether wine was grown in the Valais before Julius Cesar defeated the Gauls in the 1st century B.C., since there is no documentary evidence. It is assumed that over two millennia ago a wild vine was discovered, the Vitis sylvestris, whose fruit resembles other berries of this region.