Today this is carried out by better regulated spray installations. The valley and especially the steep slopes get the full sun which aids development of the grapes. The warm fohn mountain wind keeps temperatures pleasant until well into autumn so that the grapes are able to ripen. The ground chiefly consists of loose poor soil but it retains water and warmth well. In common with elsewhere in Switzerland the geology in Valais is just as varied with scree from glaciers, chalk, gravel, and shale.

Chasselas accounts for 45% of the total production followed by Sylvaner (known here as Gros Rhin) and countless 'specialities', such as the native Amigne, Arvine, or Petite Arvine, Humagne Blanche and Reze, and imported varieties like Muscat, Palen (Savagnin Blanc), Marsanne Blanche, or Ermitage, Chardonnay, Riesling x Sylvaner (Miiller-Thurgau), Pinot Blanc, Malvoisie (Pinot Gris) , and Gewürztraminer. Many of these types of grape are used to make wines from grapes that are harvested, and sometimes also partially sun dried (fletri).

Three ancient native grape varieties have also recently been give new life. These are Gwass or Gouais, Lafnetscha, and Himbertschna but their role is still quite limited. Of red wine grapes, Pinot Noir thrives well on chalky Valais soil while Gamay prefers a less chalky footing. Other red Swiss wine grapes that do well here include Humagne Rouge, Comalin, Syrah, Diolinoir, and Durize.

Valais Wine Map



Amigne is a rare sweet Swiss wine that is elegant, rich, and seductive with a stout character from the slate and chalk soils of Vetroz. If you come across an Amigne do not ask the price, just buy it! Drinking temperature for Amigne Swiss wine is 8- 10°C (46.4-50°F).

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