Valais AOC is the largest Swiss wine region, stretching 120 m along the right bank of the Rhone river and encompassing a surface area of 5259 ha. Fully half of the country's wine is produced therein.
The main portion of the vineyard is situated in the 50-km space between Mantigny and Sierre where elevations range between 450 and 800 m but, in the commune of Visperterminen, elevations can reach up to 1150 m, some of the highest vineyard elevations in Europe. The vineyards are owned by a total of 23,000 landholders and are located on a variety of soil types. The primary varieties in the region are Pinot Noir, Chasselas, and Gamay.
Located at the entrance to the Visper Valley, Visperterminen is home to some of the highest vineyards in Europe. The lowest vines are planted at 600 m on the banks of the Vispa from where the vineyard rises steeply -- defined by short terraces with dry stone walls -- to elevations in excess of 100m. The south-facing slopes cover 42 ha of limestone-infused clay and sand soils.
|Vineyards of Visperterminen. Source: swissinfo.ch|
Now back to the wine. The Heida Veritas is produced by St. Jodern Kellerei, a coop established in 1980 to produce and market the wines of the growers in Visperterminen and Visperta. The coop has 500 members and produces 18 different wines in 400,000 bottles from 300,000 liters of wine.
The grapes for the wine are grown on a 0.4-ha plot on lightweight, dry moraine and slate soils. The 100-year-old, Gobelet-trained vines are planted at 9000 vines/ha and are farmed after an integrated production philosophy.
The grapes are destemmed and macerated for 8 hours prior to fermentation. Fermentation is conducted in concrete eggs using selected yeasts. After fermentation the wine is aged on the lees for 6 to 8 months with lees-stirring. The wines are gently filterd prior to bottling.
Notes: This wine exhibited ripe fruit on the nose with pineapple, lychee, overripe peaches, banana, and dried aporicot being the most notable. Rich and warm in the mouth with a savory palate. Round with a long finish. Elegant.
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