Third largest canton in the Switzerland with the capital Sion (French Sion). In 2007 scientists from the University of Basel found that between 800 and 600 BC. BC vines were cultivated. Today, the vineyards stretch 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. That of Visperterminen in the Upper Valais even significantly higher at 1,100 meters. The Riebe vineyard there is highest vineyard Central Europe. The majority of the vineyards are located on the right, south-facing bank of the Rhône from Martigny to Leuk. Smaller areas are located between Lake Geneva and the Rhône-Knie near Martigny. The vineyards bordered by steep walls in steep slopes are mostly terraced, a part of it as so-called "trays", which are cut horizontally into the slope. Because of the extreme Tilt individual areas are among the steepest vineyards Europe. Lime, gneiss, slate and alluvial soils predominate.
Valais is one of the six Swiss wine regions. The vineyards cover 5,236 hectares. They are characterized by around 60 different ones, mostly autochthonous Grape varieties, only four of which 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 as Old plants be designated. Traditionally for Switzerland, the white wines are still becoming one malolactic fermentation subjected. The traditional red wine is made from Pinot Noir and Gamay Dole generated. The so-called are a rarity 36 plants, these are wines from (previously actually 36) different grape varieties. A specialty is sweet late harvest (here too Flétri ) with a potential alcohol content of up to 20% vol. Above Sierre comes the Val d'Anniviers (Eifisch valley) glacier wine (Vin des Glaciers).
In 1993 it became the first canton in Valais appellation system AOC introduced. Individual locations are considered by municipal regulations Grand Cru classified, with even higher requirements than AOC. The Grand Cru locations must have AOC status. The following AOC communities exist: Ardon, Ayent, Chamoson, Conthey, Fully (Grand-Cru-Lagen), 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 of whom are very small, with a few hectares of vineyards, produce around 40% of Swiss wine. 60% of these are white wines and 40% red wines. The best known wine producers and trading houses in the Valais 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,