Below the heath village of Visperterminen lies the highest continuous vineyard in Europe at an altitude of between 650 and 1,150 meters. This vineyard overcomes an altitude difference of 500 meters in short terraces with high dry stone walls within a confined area.
Hundreds of these retaining walls transform the steep slopes into small vineyards, often no larger than two sheets of linen. The southern exposure of the slope, in one of the driest regions of Switzerland, and the large stone surfaces of these dry stone walls create a kind of heat chamber that gives the grapes the necessary ripeness until late in the fall. Together with a few blasts of foehn, the grapes are able to ripen optimally.
Around 42 hectares of vines are currently cultivated in the picturesque heath village of Visperterminen in the canton of Wallis. Most of the winegrowers work part-time and have been cultivating the vines in this area with great dedication for generations. In the past, wine was a faithful companion during the arduous work in the steep vineyards. Nowadays, it has developed into a top-quality product that is marketed throughout Switzerland by the wineries in Visperterminen. The combination of traditional cultivation techniques and modern know-how has resulted in wines that are highly appreciated by wine lovers.
Particularly noteworthy is the cultivation of the rare Heida grape variety, which mainly takes place in this vineyard. Interested visitors have the opportunity to visit the wineries and vineyards and enjoy spontaneous wine tastings. It is recommended to book in advance to ensure the best possible experience.
Wine hike with wine tasting
A fascinating themed trail stretches from the Rhone Valley through the terraced vineyards up to the village of Visperterminen. The hike begins in Visp and leads through the narrow streets of the old town before reaching the first vines along the banks of the Vispa. These accompany the hiker for the next 500 vertical meters along the mountainside. The path zigzags through the terraced vineyards before continuing south to the village of Visperterminen. The view of the Vispertal valley, which provides access to the well-known destinations of Saas-Fee and Zermatt, and the snow-capped peaks is simply breathtaking.
Hundreds of part-time winegrowers cultivate small plots of land that have been passed down through generations. The wine is produced in the largest cooperative winery in the village, the St. Jodern Kellerei. The winery can be visited and visitors have the opportunity to taste the local wine. There are also restaurants along the route that offer tastings of the Heida wine grown here as well as local specialties.
The St Jodern winery offers various wine tastings, whether for individuals or groups. More information at: St Jodern Kellerei
Video Grand Cru Heida Visperterminen – St. Jodern Kellerei
Only the best sites are permitted for the Grand Cru Visperterminen and the quantity of grapes is greatly reduced.
Video Europe’s highest vineyard
Visperterminen in the Swiss canton of Valais has always been proud to lay claim to the highest vineyard in Europe…
Video wine hike
A wine hike from Visp to Visperterminen.