Around one third of Swiss wine is produced by the vineyards of the Valais. The vineyards extend over 100km along the Rhône at between 270m and 1,100m above sea level.
Highlights of the wine region Valais
The wine regions and their vineyards
The vineyards are spread along the right side of the river from Fully and Chamoson in the west, Conthey and Sion in central Valais and Salgesch heading east. The left side is dotted with smaller vineyards, between Lake Geneva, Martigny, Riddes and Siders. In Upper Valais, the vineyards go deep into the side valleys, with those at Visperterminen being some of the highest in Europe (also known as the Heida Village).
The wine region in numbers
The revival of “speciality wines”
The quality revolution in the 1980s was characterised by the revival of “speciality wines”, in other words all varieties except Chasselas, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Silvaner. The specialities, which currently make up more than one third of the area covered by vineyards, are the new face of Valais viticulture.
- 1,100m above sea level Switzerland’s highest vineyards are in the Valais.
- Approx. 61% … of the cultivated area in Valais is dedicated to red grape varieties and only 39% to white.
- 4795 ha ... of vineyards are cultivated in the Valais, representing about 33% of Switzerland’s overall cultivated area.
- There are approx. 370 ... producers in the Valais.
- Almost 52 million That’s the number of 750ml bottles produced in the Valais every year.
- No. 1 When comparing Switzerland’s six wine regions by size of their winegrowing areas, the Valais ranks top of the list.
A rich selection
The sunny and dry climate coupled with the different soil conditions mean the Valais offers an incredibly rich selection of interesting wines from a great many grape varieties.