The Best of Valais

Dear Journalists,

We would like to take you on a culinary voyage of discovery through Valais. We will recommend an apéro-style snack, a starter, main course and dessert, and a wine that goes with each. The selected grape varieties are typical for Valais. Between courses, we will tell you about countless new developments and activities in the areas of gastronomy and wine tourism. New offers such as the Valais Wine Pass, e-bike tours at “Les Celliers de Sion”, or events such as the Marathon of Flavours and the Swiss Wine Tourism Meetings, await your discovery.

Would you like to find out more about Valais? Do not hesitate to contact us: we would be delighted to provide you with further information or organise interviews.

Wine tourism in autumn, Valais, Switzerland

Apéro

With eight products bearing a protected designation of origin (AOP) or protected geographical indication (IGP) label, Valais ranks top in Switzerland for quality certification. Thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit and close regional ties shared by local producers, the canton accounts for over 20% of all Swiss products with the AOP and IGP labels. They guarantee that the products have a close relationship to their region of origin and are based on traditional recipes. In the case of the AOP protected designation of origin, every stage in the production process – from the raw materials to the finished product – takes place in Valais. In the case of the IGP protected geographical indication, at least one stage of the process must take place here.

The Valais Platter unites most of the AOP-IGP products. This classic menu item comprises Valais dried meat IGP, Valais cured ham IGP, Valais cured bacon IGP, Valais cured sausage, Valais rye bread AOP and Raclette du Valais AOP. We recommend the Platter as a light apéro-style snack accompanied by a glass of Petite Arvine or Pinot Noir.

Valaisan plate, Valais, Switzerland

Valais Wine Pass

The Valais Wine Pass was launched in May this year. It is a flat-price offer that lets you sample ten glasses of wine at any of the 30 tasting locations. Over a thousand wines are available for tasting between Martigny and Brig. With this new offer, Valais is positioning itself even more prominently as an important wine tourism destination and a paradise for wine lovers. Interested guests can buy the Wine Pass at a flat price online or directly from a partner tourism office. A Pass comprises a booklet of vouchers entitling the holder to sample ten different glasses of wine (100ml each) at the participating partners.

Wine tourism, Sierre, Rouvinez, Valais, Switzerland

Starter

Tucked away between France and Italy, Valais enjoys an exceptional climate and natural environment. With around 300 days of sunshine a year, this Swiss canton enjoys an almost Mediterranean ambience. It is an ideal climate for the cultivation of various fruit varieties. Each year, for instance, some 3,000 tonnes of Williams pears are grown in Valais. You can taste this pear by ordering the starter “Williams pear wrapped in IGP cured bacon, pan-roasted in Champlan hazelnut oil, with goat’s cheese from Entremont”. A glass of Heida or Humagne Rouge makes an ideal accompaniment.

Pears in Valais orchards just before harvest, Valais Wallis, Schweiz Suisse

Marathon of Flavours

Sports enthusiasts and gourmets are set to meet on 19 October 2019 for a race that combines culinary highlights with a half-marathon. The 21km route is punctuated by five stands where participants can enjoy wine and typical products from Valais. Experience the first edition of the Marathon of Flavours from Sion to Salgesch.

Main course

Over 70 restaurants with the “Saveurs du Valais” label offer local specialities and traditional dishes. This includes Brisolée, which is the main course of our menu. It is a dish composed mainly of chestnuts, served with mountain cheese, Valais dried meat products IGP and Valais rye bread AOP as well as autumn fruits. Cornalin is the wine of choice here.

The chestnut is also celebrated at festivals such as the Visp Brisolée and the Chestnut Festival in Fully. Discover the chestnut groves around Fully and taste Brisolée when you take part in the autumn media trip from 8–12 October 2019.

Brisolee, wine and gastronomy, Valais

Swiss Wine Tourism Award and Swiss Wine Tourism Meetings

The Swiss Wine Tourism Award and the Swiss Wine Tourism Meetings will take place on 12 September 2019 – for the first time in Valais, Switzerland’s largest wine-growing canton. At the third edition of the event, renowned speakers from all over Switzerland and nearby countries will welcome interested participants to Chamoson. The Swiss Wine Tourism Prize is awarded to projects that enhance the quality of wine tourism offerings, promote collaboration between the players in the sector or present Swiss wine tourism attractively at home and abroad. You’re invited to attend the award ceremony for the best wine tourism project in Switzerland.

Tasting of Valais wines. Wine glass Valais Switzerland

Dessert and digestif

Some 50 products bear the Valais brand label, a mark of origin and quality for products from Valais. Products are certified from the areas of agriculture, industry, trade and now also arts and crafts. Abricotine AOP, a brandy made from Valais apricots, and the brandy made from Williams pears AOP, are two of these. Enjoy the brandies as a digestif and in our dessert recommendation, the “Frozen Parfait à l’Abricotine du Valais AOP”.

Abricotine from Valais, Switzerland

New wine-related activities in the Sion region

Sion has recently launched the new platform sionwine.ch to facilitate the booking of wine-related activities for tourists. The listings of various tours and wineries are easy to browse and can be booked directly online.

Founded in 1848, the Domaine du Mont d’Or is one of the oldest and most prestigious winegrowing estates in Switzerland. A new discovery trail with information boards and an app have been launched for summer 2019. The four-kilometre trail offers exciting insights into the vines, plus a wonderful view across Sion and the Rhone Valley.

As of this summer, the oenopark “Les Celliers de Sion” and the surrounding vineyards can be discovered by e-bike. There is a choice of different routes. Install the app, mount your smartphone on your e-bike and off you go!

vineyard, grape, valais, Swizerland

Our suggestions

  • Tip 1

    Wine experiences

    With around 5,000 hectares of vineyards, Valais is the largest wine-growing canton in Switzerland. Experience the abundance of grape varieties with one of the Wine Experiences.

    Further information
  • Tip 2

    Dry-stone walls

    Many visitors to Valais don’t initially notice the walls that run through the canton’s vineyards. Yet these dry-stone walls have been a key element of the Valais landscape for as long as anyone can remember. They bear witness to ancient skills handed down over generations that UNESCO has declared part of humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. These unique walls can be visited on foot or by bike along the Valais Wine Trail.

    Further information
  • Tip 3

    The 10 finest autumn walks

    When in autumn the trees are ablaze with every shade of red and temperatures start to fall, Valais invites you on an autumn hike. Discover ten of the most beautiful trails.

    Further information

Valais in figures

  • Around 5,000 hectares of vineyards
  • 55 grape varieties grown at altitudes of 400 to 1,100 metres above sea level
  • About 3,000km of dry-stone walls
  • 8 AOP and IGP products
  • 300 sunny days a year
  • 73 restaurants with Valais specialities
  • 75 Gault&Millau restaurants
  • 12 Michelin stars
  • 97% of Swiss apricot production
  • 50 products with the Valais brand label