From impossibly picturesque and steep vineyards, the wines from this Alpine canton are booming in quality, discovers Sue Style. And are perfect to enjoy with raclette, see our Valais travel guide here - first published in the Decanter January 2014 issue.
My perfect day in the Valais
After breakfast at Castel de Daval, schedule a visit to star producer Robert Taramarcaz at Domaine des Muses. Afterwards, leave the car at Sierre station, hop on the train (a three-minute journey) to Salgesch and walk back to Sierre along the vineyard trail (about two hours), which finishes up at Oenothèque (wine bar and shop) at Château de Villa where you can taste the best of the Valais.
Either grab a bite at Oenothèque, or go for the famous raclette tasting menu at Château de Villa’s cosy, wood-panelled restaurant next door: the raclette meister juggles with five grills and five wheels of alp cheese, each from a different alp, sizzled in turn, scraped (raclé) onto a plate and served with potatoes, pickles and air-dried meats. Or for more creative/modern fare and a stunning wine list, try L’Atelier Gourmand, the brasserie side of Didier de Courten’s upmarket restaurant (near the train station).
Take the road up towards Crans- Montana to Cave la Romaine,a new domaine with an impressive cellar, ambitious wines and superb tasting room with panoramic views to the upper valley.
From here it’s about 25 minutes’ drive to Savièse/Chandolin, a dramatically sited south-facing village with views of vineyards and snow- capped peaks high above Sion on the road up to the Col du Sanetsch. Settle down for dinner and overnight at La Grande Maison, once the home of a local family, now converted into a simple but classy B&B.