Salgesch / Salquenen

Salgesch (Salquenen in French) is a wine-growing village on the language border to the east of Sierre and the Finges Woods (Pfynwald). It is an exceptional wine-growing region, producing some of Switzerland's finest vintages, which have won numerous international awards.



Salgesch / Salquenen

Salgesch (Salquenen in French) is a wine-growing village on the language border to the east of Sierre and the Finges Woods (Pfynwald). It is an exceptional wine-growing region, producing some of Switzerland's finest vintages, which have won numerous international awards.

It's hard to believe that Salquenen's transformation from farming village to wine-growing village dates back only to the middle of the 20th century, even though the Knights of Malta who settled here in the 13th century were probably already attracted by the excellent wines!

Today, the vineyards cover more than 200 hectares, divided between around forty estates, with almost 90% of the grapes grown being red, which is highly unusual in Valais, since white wines accounted for around 38% of the canton's total production in 2010.

The reason for this predominance of red grape varieties dates back to prehistoric times, when a landslide loaded the soil with a very high concentration of limestone and magnesium, creating an ideal terroir for pinot noir. Indeed, the Dôle de Salquenen, the canton's emblematic pinot-gamay blend, is said to be the best in the Valais.

Even if the Valais terroir as a whole produces very fine wines, and although it's almost blasphemous to say that the best come from Salquenen, it's true that this terroir is absolutely exceptional.

In fact, it was here that the first Swiss Grand Cru ('great vintage') label was created in 1988, the same year that local winegrowers voluntarily introduced a harvest limit that is now applied throughout Switzerland! Perhaps that explains it...
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