Third largest canton of the Switzerland with the capital Sion (French Sion). In 2007, scientists from the University of Basel found that here already between 800 and 600 BC. Were cultivated vines. Today, the vineyards extend over 50 kilometers from the German-speaking Upper Valais to the French-speaking Lower Valais along the Rhone at an altitude of 450 to 650 meters. Those of Visperterminen in Upper Valais even considerably higher at 1,100 meters. The local vineyard Riebe is the highest vineyard Central Europe. Most of the vineyards are located on the right, south-facing Rhône bank from Martigny to Leuk. Smaller areas are located between Lake Geneva and the Rhône knee near Martigny. The high-walled vineyards on steep slopes are mostly terraced some of them as so-called "shelves" cut horizontally into the slope. Due to the extreme Tilt count individual surfaces to the steepest vineyards Europe. There are lime, gneiss, slate and alluvial soils.
Valais is one of the six Swiss wine regions. The vineyards cover 5,236 hectares of vineyards. They are characterized by about 60 different, mostly autochthonous Grape varieties, accounting for only four of them account for almost 90% of the area. That's over half Fendant ( Chasselas ) Pinot Noir. Gamay and Sylvaner, With the neighboring Italian aosta Valley A geographical island is formed with a variety of very old, indigenous grape varieties, which are known as Old plants be designated. Traditionally for Switzerland, the white wines are still partly one malolactic fermentation subjected. Pinot Noir and Gamay become the traditional red wine Dole generated. A rarity are the so-called 36 Plants, these are wines from (in the past actually 36) different grape varieties. A specialty is sweet late reading (here too Flétri called) with a potential alcohol content up to 20% vol. Above Sierre comes from the Val d'Anniviers (Eifisch Valley) the glacier wine (Vin of the Glacier).
In 1993 became the first canton in the Valais the appellation system AOC introduced. Individual situations are governed by municipal regulations Grand Cru classified, with even higher requirements than AOC. The Grand Cru locations must have AOC status. There are the following AOC communities: Ardon, Ayent, Chamoson, Conthey, Fully (Grand Cru), Grimisuat, Lens, Miège, Saillon, Salquenen (in German Salgesch) Savièse, Saxon, Sierre, Sion, St-Léonard (Grand Cru locations), Varen, Venthône and Vétroz (Grand Cru locations). Around 22,000 winegrowers, some with a very small estate and only a few hectares of vineyards, produce around 40% of Swiss wine. 60% of these are white wines and 40% red wines. The most famous wine producers and trading houses in the Valais include s Bonvin. Domaine du Mont d'Or. Favre. Gay. Germanier. Gilliard. Imesch. St. John winery. Mathier Albert. Nouveau Salquenen. Orsat. Provins Valais. Rouvinez. Varone and Vins des Chevaliers,