Vineyards in the Valais
Diversity and authenticity
The Valais is the largest wine-producing canton (5’092 hectares). The vineyards are characterised by the variety of their soil that allows the cultivation of about fifty varieties of grape, some of which do not exist anywhere else is the world: Petite Arvine, Amigne, Cornalin, Humagne, etc. The land is highly fragmented: about 20’000 owners share almost 110’000 plots and only 250 Valaisans own more than 2 hectares of vine! Two thirds of the grapes are delivered to cooperatives such as Provins-Valais and other large wineries. The wine-producers are more and more numerous; as of today, over 600 of them produce wine from their own vines.
Most vineyards are located between 400 and 800 m above sea level. Nevertheless, the highest vineyard in Europe (1’000 m of altitude) is in Visperterminen.
Respect of the environment
Thanks to the environmentally friendly cultivation of the vines, you will come across very diverse fauna and flora during your walks: almond trees, Iolas Blue, Woodlarks, etc.
Every year, winegrowers, wine shops or the cooperative produce about 42 million litres of wine.
Thanks to their professionalism, the winemakers achieve a perfect match of grape varieties, soil and climate to create exceptional wines.
Quality of the wine begins on the vine. Above all, it is the result of varieties of grape adapting to the land.
Chasselas, Pinot and Gamay occupy two thirds of the Valaisan vineyards and the last third is divided in between several specialities separated into three groups: the “indigenous” (Cornalin, Petite Arvine, Humagne blanche), Amigne and Rèze) which are grown on 323 hectares (6% of the vineyard), the “traditional” but imported grape varieties (Syrah, Humagne Rouge, Johannisberg, Païen, Ermitage, Malvoisie, Muscat and Chardonnay) which occupy 809 hectares of land (16%) and finally, the more recent varieties which grow on 400 hectares (8%).
Cornalin, Humagne, Petite Arvine and Rèze almost disappeared, however, in the 1980s, the awareness of the wine heritage of the area led to several measures ensuring the diversity and authenticity of the vineyards.
For more information, please go to: www.lesvinsduvalais.ch