10 top tips for autumn treats
Autumn is the gastronomic climax of the year – and so the perfect time to enjoy an indulgent break. This is the season of leisurely walks through golden vineyards, of mouth-watering cuisine showcasing game and chestnuts, of grape harvests and wine festivals, of meals and tastings featuring the finest local produce and wines. To crown it all, enjoy blissful relaxation at any of the attractive thermal spas of Valais. These ten tips have one thing in common: pure pleasure!
1 - At the heart of the harvest
On 22 September 2018, the winemakers of Valais invite you to their estates and cellars to share their world. This convivial day includes: welcome and presentation of the work involved in the grape harvest, a walk through the vineyards, the grape harvest itself, an aperitif in the heart of the vineyards, and a meal prepared with regional produce. A chance to experience the unique atmosphere of the grape harvest in the company of a winemaker with a passion for the craft – with the added pleasure of delicious local specialities.
2 - Wine adventure in the historical capital
The picturesque Old Town of Sion, capital of Valais, makes a dramatic backdrop for a delightful excursion: accompanied by a local guide, you will discover the remarkable diversity of Valais wines at exclusive locations that showcase the city’s 7,000-year-old history. The outing includes lunch in the charming Old Town.
3 - Tavolata: from the field to the fork
Enjoy regional cuisine at its most authentic at Turriljigut, the wine estate of Véronique Zen Ruffinen and her husband, Yves, in Susten. Véronique’s personal contacts with local producers and her focus on traditional varieties of produce (ProSpecieRara) promise delicious seasonal dishes and a unique gastronomic experience. Enjoy your “tavolata” meal, prepared and served by Véronique, in the dining room, garden or wine cellar: you choose.
4 - Petite Arvine wines of Fully
The Fol’terres wine bar and shop is a treasure trove of regional specialities and wines from the Fully vineyards. Here you’ll discover wines made from grape varieties that you’ll subsequently see flourishing along the vineyard trail – including the local speciality, Petite Arvine. Lunch is at the Restaurant Fully.
5 - The Salgesch Wine Trophy
Fun, enjoyment and team spirit! In a guided tour through the sunny Salgesch vineyard, to experience in a company outing or with friends, perform seven tasks as a team and compete for the Salgesch Wine Trophy. After the competition, you will sample fine wines in a Salgesch wine cellar along with a tasty platter of Valais specialities.
You will be shown around the vineyard where you will perform tasks at various points. You will need team spirit, all five senses, skill, knowledge and powers of deduction. Duration 3 to 4 hours, including 1.5 hours of hiking.
7 - Blissful relaxation in Ovronnaz
Enjoy a refreshing escape in Ovronnaz, where you can combine invigorating exercise in pristine nature with pure relaxation at the thermal spa of the Bains d’Ovronnaz. This offer includes three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at an apartment in the Bains d’Ovronnaz residential complex, use of the chairlift and admission to the thermal spa.
8 - The chestnut festival in Fully
Fully’s two-day chestnut festival is known throughout Switzerland and draws 40,000 visitors every year. On 13 and 14 October 2018, you can gather sweet chestnuts in the 17-hectare chestnut grove and roast them right away. In the heart of the village, you can stroll among 300 market stands and taste all kinds of regional specialities. Star attraction is Brisolée, a traditional autumn dish composed of roasted chestnuts, Valais cheeses and cold meats, grapes, apples, pears and nuts, served with rye bread.
9 - Bike ride along the Vineyard Trail
Like the idea of a bike ride with gastronomic stops en route? The “Chemin du Vignoble” (Vineyard Trail) leads for 43 kilometres through the sunny Valais vineyards on the right bank of the Rhône from Martigny to Leuk; along the way, it takes in historical sites and small winemaking villages where you can taste local wines and enjoy typical regional specialities. This offer includes two nights’ accommodation with breakfast, luggage transport and much more.
10 - Sierre / Salgesch – a journey for the senses
After a short walk through the quiet city of Sierre you will arrive at the Château de Villa, a historic estate where a choice of Valais wines awaits you for a guided tasting. You will then get the chance to taste five different types of raclette cheese. After this culinary highlight, it’s time to make your way along the wine trail from Sierre to Salgesch. Once you arrive at the winemaking village, you will be welcomed with a Grand Cru aperitif. You can then round off your journey with a visit to the wine museum.