Before the 20th century, there were practically no vines in Savièse
Savièse, with its 300 hectares of vines, is one of the largest wine-producing communes in Valais today. The end of the 19th century was a different story altogether. Vines are concentrated on the hills above Sion in the Diolly area. There are also a few vine parcels between Vuisse and Chandolin, on the steeps slopes south of the Château de la Soie hillside and on the right banks of the Sionne river.
Every kind of crop
Savièse’s particular situation, running down from 3,000 metres altitude to various shelves of land, dips and hills, leads to the development of successful self-sustaining mixed-crop farming. We find vegetable gardens, walnut and fruit orchards, prairies, and fields of grain and hemp.
Development and re-organization
Starting in the 20th century, vines have the upper hand. Existing vine parcels were extended. During the 1960s a large area of grapevines grew below the villages of St Germain and Drône, thanks notably to a re-organization of the vine parcels. Among the vines, we can still sometimes see traces of the planting lines of old grain fields, in horizontal stripes, perpendicular to the slope, which allowed them to work the soil. Vines that are now in areas zoned for construction are gradually being replaced by houses. These are mostly near villages at the lower end of the commune of Ormône.
Source: Histoire de la Vigne et du Vin, «Savièse, comme le raisin a supplanté le blé», Emmanuel Reynard and Simon Martin, geographers.