The vineyards and wines of the Valais
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The vineyards and their regions  
  Vineyards
Vinyards cover a total of about 5'000 hectares. The Canton of Valais is the largest producers of Swiss wines (40%). About half of the vinyards are devoted to the production of white wines. The altitude of the vineyards varies between 450 and 800 metres.
Climate
The vineyards of the Valais enjoy a mild continental climate and are exposed to the warm foehn winds. It is relatively dry and there are more than the average European hours of sunshine per year, which means that the temperatures remain mild and pleasant until the end of Autumn.
Soil
In the region of Martigny and Fully, the soil has a low limestone content, which is particularly suited to Gamay. Upstream of Saillon in the Rhone valley, chalky soils predominate.
In certain wine-producing regions (Saillon, Leytron, Chamoson and Ardon) the soil has been enriched with a mixture of gravel. Alluvial soils predominate in the vineyards of the plain while, in the Sion district, the soils are basically composed of shale.
Stony, chalky soils predominate as one moves up through the vinyards towards Salquenen.
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