In the village of Visperteminen, in a small, traditional Swiss village in the canton of Valais, lies the "Rieben", a vineyard located at an altitude of about 650 and 1150 metres, which is considered to be the highest vineyard in Europe.
The importance of the climate for the vineyards
A series of factors linked to the microclimate of the region give the grapes the correct ripening.
The small continuous vineyards are located in the areas considered to be the driest in Switzerland, but thanks to the many dry-stone walls facing south and located on steep and fascinating slopes, the hot air remains as if imprisoned with only a few short foehn breeze to mitigate the warm temperatures.
In Valais we find a continental climate thanks to the influence of the Alps.
The risks of frost during the cold winters are a real and constant risk; it is not uncommon to admire in these cold nights the numerous and special candles located on the ground of the vineyards that with their light and heat cross the vineyards giving them warmer temperatures necessary to withstand the frost and giving the viewer a very impressive view.
On the other hand, summers are particularly hot and generally with little rain, while autumn, on the other hand, thanks in particular to the foehn, remains mild, allowing the vineyards to ripen with late specialties.
In Visperteminen, in addition to the highest vineyard in Europe, there is also a particular grape and other pride of the place that is the Heida or Paiern so called in the lower Valais.
Heida comes from the Savagnin Blanc family, a white grape variety, presumably native to Termeno in South Tyrol, which later spread to Austria, Tyrol and Switzerland, particularly in the Valais.
These grapes produce an aromatic wine with a straw yellow colour, full-bodied, has a taste of honey and exotic fruit and is quite alcoholic.
Oenological excursion to Visperteminen
One of the oenological experiences to do in the Heidadorf in Visperterminen is definitely the "Wii-Grill-Fäscht" festival, an annual event that usually takes place in September, the first Saturday of the month. It is a pleasant food and wine tour that will take you through these exceptional vineyards accompanied by pleasant stops with culinary tastings and of course excellent wines all to be enjoyed in the company and immersed in an enchanting landscape.