post by : karina.cardosoc
Switzerland has a lot to offer within its diversity of hidden treasures. Indeed, the penultimate season of the year comes with its winegrowing heritage and ensures an experience not to be missed. Besides several lodging offers, the different themes around wine are a medium to increase the new concept named as “wine tourism” during Fall. The raising trend is to combine an activity with an experience around wine. Therefore at the beginning of last September, Swiss Tourism launched, for the first time, on a national scale, a website gathering together several key destinations throughout six regions of the country. The Valais was considered the first ranking region.
Whether you are a sport addict or enjoy a Sunday walk with your dog, Autumn has something to offer for everyone. In Valais, grapevines are a part of the dominant feature of the landscape. Did you know the highest vineyard in Europe finds itself in Visperterminen (VS) with an altitude between 650 and 1150 meters? On the other hand the smallest one is situated in Saillon (VS) and made of 3 vine stocks belonging to the Dalaï Lama.
If you have a deep interest in wine, you will love wandering through one of the 13 vineyards hikes in Switzerland where info boards mark out the trails. While the younger ones will know more about their surroundings, adults will learn some facts about winegrowing. The vineyard trail between Salgesch and Sierre (VS) is a walk in an open-air museum where you get a chance to immerse yourself in the world of wine. Those cultural and educational paths reveal either history or secrets of winemaking.
The route named “Castles of Sion and surroundings” (VS) is appealing thanks to the variety of landscapes it passes through: terraced vineyards, orchards, forests and panoramic alpine views. Less effort and more pleasure are highlighted in the e-bike guided tours in the vineyards. Leave your mind floating and taste the newest wine experience on electric bike.
One of many options are the numerous events organised during Autumn, such as Foire du Valais taking place this year in Martigny, a wine walk throughout wine-tasting cellars of wine-growers or even the Valais Wine Pass, which consists in ten tickets for CHF 49 (from which CHF 4 are given to wine-growers’ establishments) and allows you to go to wine cellars in Valais for a wine tasting. For those who want to taste some wine in a more typical way, during grapes harvests, the most popular way to try some local wines is at the Fête des vendanges (grape harvests celebration fair) organised throughout all wine regions in Switzerland, which can give younger and older ones a lot of entertainment.
Although with a brand new website, Swiss Wine tours might be lacking on rates, comments and multilingual guides. Compare to neighbouring countries, Switzerland’s wine tours are in the beginning of their potential. In fact, Swiss Tourism aims to register 200’000 overnight stays during September and October until 2022, which is an increase of 3% with regards to autumn 2017. Including comments and rates could provide more information to other customers about what kind of tour or lodging they might want to experience while in Switzerland. As for multilingual guides, it could improve the general activities and ideas of wine, as 94% of interviewed hosts during their stay are interested in wine, some of them (23%) even wish to experience a dinner among vineyards. The level of interest of tourists from North America, Australia and New Zealand is at 7.5/10, which could be beneficial for Swiss Tourism if multilingual options are offered during their experience.
But being in the 20th position on the worldwide wine tourism chart (2018), Switzerland is still a little behind with its wine tourism which could be improved by more transparency of the wine’s origins by creating an approval label. This could be easily identifiable by people and might give some acknowledgement to Swiss wine (giving that only 1% of it is exported internationally).
If wine tourism wants to catch a larger public’s attention - such as families - what about children and their experiences? Although kids can harvest the grapes and taste grape juice during a culinary walk, they may be interested in a creative activity in relation to wine. A similar event took place in Cologny (GE) where children had the opportunity to learn about nature and grapes before cooking a meal for the parents. This experience gathers the family around an experience from which everyone can learn something.
The new Swiss platform for the wine tourism made it easy to suggest the customer with choices of an experience by one click away, the rates and comments could therefore have a great influence on his decision. Moreover while it is well known families are one of the most important target, wine tourism has to catch this public attention as well. So what are you waiting for? Join the experience with a cheer.