Swiss wine is produced from nearly 15,000 hectares of vineyards, and the wines are mainly produced in the west and in the south of Switzerland, in the cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, Ticino, Valais and Vaud. White grape varieties are grown on 42% of the country’s vineyard surface, and red grape varieties on the remaining 58%.
The tradition of wine viticulture in Switzerland is very old, at minimum from the Roman era. Some archeological evidence seems to prove that the grapes were planted in Valais earlier than the Roman era. In an archeological excavation near Gamsen, some old grape seeds were found, that date to the Iron Age.
The two most common grape varieties in Switzerland are the red Pinot Noir at around 30%, and the white Chasselas at around 27%. A large number of grape varieties are cultivated in Switzerland, many of them indigenous or regional varieties. Some 90 grape varieties are cultivated on an area of approximately 1 ha!