Cépages

  • Rouge
  • Allogène (après 1900)
  • 203 Ha (1.39%)

Syrah

Originating in Isère (F) from a natural cross between Dureza from Ardèche and Mondeuse Blanche from Savoie, Syrah gets its name from the Latin serus (meaning late), in reference to its late ripening. Recorded in 1781 in the Hermitage vineyard in the Rhone valley, it was introduced from there to Valais (Switzerland) in 1921, at the Domaine de l'Etat in Leytron. Most of the vines are still found in Valais, where Syrah produces wines of international stature that are spicy, with a note of blond tobacco, a silky flavour and great volume.
  • Blanc
  • Traditionnel (av. 1900)
  • 197 Ha (1.35%)

Savagnin blanc

Originating in the vast region covering the north-east of France and the south-east of Germany, Savagnin Blanc is a very old variety, also known under the name of Traminer, which has many natural offsprings, such as Sylvaner (Johannisberg in Valais), Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Gru?ner Veltliner, to name a few. In Switzerland, it is recorded for the first time in 1586 in Haut Valais under the name Heida, a very old appellation translated as Païen (pagan) in Bas Valais, in reference to ancient times, before Christianity. Its cultivation is constantly increasing as Heida or Païen is a highly structured wine, with notes of citrus and exotic fruits, and great potential for ageing.
Associated names : 
Paien, Heida, Traminer
  • Blanc
  • Allogène (après 1900)
  • 193 Ha (1.32%)

Sauvignon blanc

Originating from the Loire Valley, where it is recorded under its old name Fiers in 1534 in Rabelais' "Gargantua", Sauvignon takes its name from the wild vine with similar leaves. DNA tests reveal it to be a progeny of Savagnin Blanc, known as Heida in Valais, a full-sibling of Chenin Blanc in the Loire, and a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon through a natural cross with Cabernet Franc. In Switzerland, this very vigorous mid-season variety prone to grey mould is grown in practically all cantons, where it gives highly acidic wines, with a marked aroma of gooseberry and blackcurrant buds.
  • Rouge
  • Traditionnel (av. 1900)
  • 151 Ha (1.03%)

Cornalin

Traditionally known as Rouge du Pays, this old variety from Valais (Switzerland) was renamed Cornalin in 1972, borrowing the name from a Valle d'Aosta variety. This was clearly a premonition, as DNA tests revealed it was in fact a natural cross between two varieties from Valle d'Aosta, Petit Rouge and Mayolet. Originally from Valle d'Aosta, it was probably introduced into the Valais region a very long time ago via the Great St Bernard Pass, while it has disappeared from its valley of origin. On the edge of extinction in Valais, it was saved by a handful of enthusiasts in the 1970s, so successfully that it has now become the symbolic red wine grape of the Valais region, where it is exclusively grown. Difficult in the vineyard with variable yields, Cornalin produces colourful, fruity and juicy wines, with silky tannins and a pleasant bitterness.
Associated names : 
Rouge du Pays
  • Rouge
  • Traditionnel (av. 1900)
  • 143 Ha (0.98%)

Humagne Rouge

With no link to Humagne Blanc, this variety introduced to Valais (Switzerland) in the late 19th century from Valle d'Aosta (I) has been confused with Petit Rouge d'Aoste since the 1970s, until enzyme and genetic testing in 1999 identified it as Cornalin d'Aoste, from which Rouge du Pays borrowed its name in 1972. It is the product of a natural cross which took place in Valle d'Aosta between Rouge du Pays and an unknown variety. In Switzerland, Humagne Rouge is grown almost exclusively in Valais, where it produces characterful wines, with notes of dried vine leaves and violet and a wild side.
  • Rouge
  • Indigène
  • 130 Ha (0.89%)

Diolinoir

An artificial cross of Robin Noir and Pinot Noir, Diolinoir was created in 1970 at the Agroscope Research Centre in Pully (Switzerland) in order to intensify the colour of Pinot Noir. It takes its name from its ancestors, Robin Noir being known as Rouge de Diolly in Valais. Resistant to grey mould, it produces strong, full-bodied wines, often used for blends.
  • Blanc
  • Allogène (après 1900)
  • 114 Ha (0.78%)

Pinot Blanc

A colour mutation of Pinot Noir that appeared in several places independently, Pinot Blanc was first recorded in 1868 in Burgundy (F) where for a long time it was confused with Chardonnay. In Switzerland, this early variety, prone to fungal disease, was introduced in the 1970s. It gives strong wines, with moderate acidity, prized for drinking with food.
Associated names : 
Weissburgunder
  • Rouge
  • Allogène (après 1900)
  • 75 Ha (0.52%)

Cabernet Franc

Although it is one of the original varieties of the great wines of Bordeaux (F), the ancestral origins of Cabernet Franc are in the Spanish Basque Country. From there it expanded into Gironde, then to the Loire region, where it has become one of the most commonly grown red grapes. DNA tests have revealed that it is the direct genitor of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. In Switzerland, this mid-season variety, resistant to fungal disease, is grown in particular in French-speaking Switzerland and in Ticino, where it produces wine with an aroma of violets, high in tannins, with more or less herbaceous notes depending on the yields.
  • Rouge
  • Allogène (après 1900)
  • 67 Ha (0.46%)

Cabernet Sauvignon

A flagship variety of Bordeaux (F), Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most commonly grown grapes in the world. The unexpected discovery of its heritage in 1997 was big news: it's a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, which probably took place in Gironde before the 18th century. This makes it a half-sibling of Merlot and Carmenère. In Switzerland, this variety prone to fungal disease is grown essentially for making Bordeaux blends (with Cabernet Franc and Merlot), adding notes of blackcurrants and blackberries.
  • Blanc
  • Allogène (après 1900)
  • 52 Ha (0.35%)

Viognier

Viognier most likely comes from the vineyards of Condrieu and Ampuis in the north of the Rhone valley, where it was first recorded in 1781. Its allegedly Croatian origin (Vis island) was disproven by paternity tests revealing that it is a parent or an offspring of Mondeuse Blanche, which means it is related to Mondeuse Noire, and more astonishingly, to Syrah. In Switzerland, Viognier is cultivated particularly in the Geneva region where it produces perfumed, corpulent, complex wines.