The Romans planted around the turn of the century vines in the area of Basel and Windisch and founded the wine. In the 6th century AD monks from Burgundy founded the monastery of St. Maurice near Aigle in the canton of Vaud and cultivated vineyards. In the middle of the 8th century, vineyards are in the Churer Rhine Valley and on Lake Constance occupied. As elsewhere in Europe, viticulture in the Middle Ages of the Cistercians cultivated. These founded the monastery Hautcrèt Palézieux and laid in 1142 the first terraced vineyard on Lake Geneva in the canton Vaud at. The area Dézaley is still one of the best appellations in Switzerland today. From the beginning of the Confederation of the three cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden in 1291 to the 18th century, wine production increased steadily. Around the year 1850, the vineyards, at around 35,000 hectares, more than doubled as they do today. In the 19th century, viticulture suffered a decline by foreign competition, as well as by the phylloxera and the mildew, which also reached Switzerland as one of the last European countries. After the Second World War, there was an upswing again.
Switzerland is (after Albania ) the most mountainous country in Europe and the Alps with their foothills also strongly characterize viticulture. The vineyards are located mainly at the beginning of the three major river valleys Rhône in the west, Rhine in the north and Po in the south. In these valleys and along the many lakes are many vineyards on glacial moraines with mostly terraced steep slopes up to 70% slope. The one at the church Visperterminen lying vineyard Riebe at 1,100 meters above sea level is the highest vineyard Central Europe. Especially on the southern side of the Alps with the largest winegrowing area Wallis There is a lot of sunshine, but relatively little rainfall. Only in the south Ticino is very rainy. Linguistically, Switzerland is divided into the three wine-growing regions of Western Switzerland (French Switzerland with three-quarters of the vineyard), eastern Switzerland (German Switzerland - the "land of red country wines" and smallest area) and Ticino in the south (Italian Switzerland). For this reason, German, Italian and French influences are reflected in the diverse wine culture.
Slightly more than half of the total area is occupied by red wines. The most common are Pinot Noir (Pinot Noir) and Gamay, only in Italian Switzerland (Ticino) clearly dominates Merlot with over 80%. Chasselas clearly dominates white wines (also called Dorin, Fendant and Perlan), followed by Müller-Thurgau (here Riesling x Sylvaner) - with the name was the Swiss viticulture pioneer dr. Hermann Müller-Thurgau (1850-1927) set a monument. In Eastern Switzerland (German-speaking Switzerland), there is almost a monoculture, dominated here, the red wine Pinot Noir with about 70% of the area. The planted after the phylloxera disaster Americano make up about 15% share and are specially for Ticino table grapes and grappa used. As Old plants become the numerous old ones autochthonous Grape varieties referred to, which are mainly cultivated in the canton of Valais. Of the Blend 2010 (ex Kym Anderson ):