The Lavaux Vineyards are part of the Swiss region that extends from Lutry to Vevey – listed as a UNESCO cultural heritage site in 2007 – and houses over 10,000 terraces, viticulture paths, and wine-producing villages, offering several tourism opportunities. So, today, we’re going to discover more about this wonderful place!
Lavaux Vineyards: the history
Born over 15,000 years ago, the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces were shaped by man in the 12th century, when the bishops of Lausanne and the Cistercian monks turned them into a worldwide-known and prestigious AOC wine region. Today, this stunning area offers a constantly growing cultural landscape, – in terms of the region’s history, wines, and tourism – which is the fruit of a harmonious interaction between the locals and the environment.
The best ways to visit the Lavaux Vineyards
1. Hiking and walking around the region
This wine-producing area is easily reachable through the public transport and represents a typical day-trip for Lausanne’s citizens. So, you should opt for some hikes around the vineyards to enjoy the views of the Alps and Lake Geneva, such as:
- The Vineyard Walk through the Terraces of Lavaux: to explore one of the most marvelous vineyards, starting from Chexbres, Saint-Saphorin, Rivaz, or Epesses;
- The Great Crossing (Lavaux Vineyard Terraces Ride): an unmissable hike between the lake, vineyards, and mountains, which starts from the Chillon Castle and leads to Lausanne.
2. Visiting a cellar to taste the local wines
In addition, you should visit the region’s cellars and wine shops to taste a wide range of wines’ subtle nuances – enabled by the multiple microclimates – that are unavailable out of the region. For instance, we suggest you visit:
- The Francey Vins: a wine estate that overlooks the terraced vineyards and offers the perfect spot to taste its wines – located on the ‘balcony of Lavaux’;
- The Domaine Croix-Duplex: above the village of Grandvaux, the perfect place to discover the vineyards and their eco-friendly wines’ production, either during a private event on the terrace-veranda or in the wine bar.
3. Joining a guided tour
Last but not least, joining a guided tour is a great way to understand the history and culture of the Lavaux Vineyards, enjoying both the lake and vines. Some guided tours we recommend you to try are:
- Lavaux-Express: an enchanting little train on wheels that carries you through beautiful sceneries and lets you opt for a walk through the vines or a wine tasting;
- Lavaux-Panoramic: another train on wheels that makes you admire the landscapes over the vineyards, running from Chexbres to either the Saint-Saphorin or Chardonne village, and including wine cellar tours;
- Sunday walking tour of Lavaux: a guided tour that starts at Cully’s boat terminal and runs across the villages of Riex and Epesses, where you can taste a glass of Chasselas and discover the history of Lavaux.