Wild grapes have been part of the Valais landscape since the earliest times, and they are still found throughout the canton. We know that the fruit was harvested well before the time of the Gauls but nothing indicates that these people made wine. The first true cultivators of wine were the Romans, who conquered the Valais few years before the christian era. They brought new methods of cultivation that gave rise to new drinking and eating habits, notably the drinking of wine.
A remarkable feature of the Valais is its extraordinary mix of soils, sun exposure and micro-climates: in short, its "terroirs". It is not surprising, then, that a number of grape varieties find perfect growing conditions here. With 5'070 ha of vineyards, the Valais represents the third part of the swiss vineyards. Two different wines produced, the Fendant (white wine) and the Dôle (red wine) are the most appreciated by swiss and foreign consumers. Even if the exportation is still low, the wines from the Valais are distinguished in many european competitions.
Vignoble de Sion
With its 420 ha of vineyards, Sion has become the second biggest wine community in the Valais. The soil of Sion offers a multitude of different wines. These are cultivated in terraces supported by dry stone walls which are hundred of centuries old. The city of Sion has four classified Grand Crus (great wines): the Fendant, the Ermitage, the Dôle and the Syrah.