Pinot Noir is the most widely planted grape in Valais. It was introduced in the middle of the 19th century by the canton’s governing council in order to regenerate the wine industry, which was going through a period of transition. Long reflection had led to this move, which resulted in a spectacular increase in the area planted.
Note that Pinot Noir, an early harvest variety that supports both dryness and cold, was bound to succeed in Valais: it gives birth to very varied wines, reflecting the enormous diversity of the terroirs. Pinot Noir is particularly successful in the area around Salgesch Salquenen and Sierre, with their very active chalky soils. It has also succeeded admirably on the left bank of the Rhone where the time needed to mature is somewhat longer, perfect for the development of this grape’s complexity and fresh aromas.
It provides structure, classiness and elegance to doles when it is blended with Gamay. Thanks to ambitious vinification, Pinot Noir has provided some magnificent wines in recent years, especially if matured in oak when the yield has been mastered.
This has become one of the best red Valais wines whose best vintages are capable of aging well (five to eight years).