Stretching along the south-facing steep slopes of Lake Geneva‘s banks, from Lausanne to Montreux, the Lavaux vineyard terraces are a paradise for lovers of romantic landscapes.
At every turn of the road, you will be astonished by breathtaking views on the narrow vine terraces plunging into the glittering Lake Geneva.
Not only is the site of Lavaux famous for its unique scenery but also for its viticultural tradition deeply rooted in the region for centuries.
The foundations of these incredible 10 000 terraces were established by the Benedictine and Cistercian monks during the Middle Ages.
Since then, generations of winemakers have been respectful of traditions and have helped to foster this magnificent mosaic, which covers some 40 km of slopes stretching along the shores of Lake Geneva.
It is this long centuries interaction between humans and their environment that contributed to the international recognition of the Lavaux terraces and the latter has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage since 2007 as a remarkable cultural landscape.
Situated in the canton of Vaud in the western part of Switzerland, the Lavaux vineyard extends to 830 hectares. It is divided into 8 distinctive geographical areas (AOC appellations) producing mainly white wine but also some red wine made of Gamay, Pinot noir, Gamaray and Garanoir, the main grape varieties of the area.
Besides, there are also 30 other local varieties among which Plan Robert, an old clone of Gamay of outstanding character that remains the region’s exclusivity.
However the Chasselas grape still remains the most planted variety of the land. This early-ripening, vigorous variety produces lively aromatic white wines with low acidity that should be drunk young.
This colourful and wide range of wines can be tasted and purchased at Vinorama, the discovery wine center of Lavaux or in one of the typical cellars of the region.
Whether you are an epicurian looking for sensations, a history or an art lover, do not miss an opportunity to explore the terraces of Lavaux and its oniric universe by attending one of the many guided tours provided by the Lavaux international heritage association, by taking the Lavaux-panoramic miniature train or by following one of the hiking trails leading you to the gates of heaven.