IGP Coteaux de l'Ain / Pays de Gex
Located northeast of the department of Ain and extreme western Switzerland, the vineyards of Gex has a very individualized land, set between the Jura mountains and Lake Geneva. The hillsides lean against it at an altitude of 350-600 m. Well exposed to the East and South, the hillsides of the lake's shores and the Rhône's banks offer favorable land for the cultivation of the vine.
At the end of the 1st century BC, the Romans brought the vine in all the Lake Geneva area. In Gex region, the vineyard is maintained and developed throughout the Middle Ages under the auspices of the monks who had the best plots and enhance it. With global cooling in the fifteenth century, the cultivation of vines in "hautins" or "hutins" spreads out: vine plants are planted around a tree to which the branches hang, thus escaping the rigor climate and late frosts. At the end of the nineteenth century and as a result of the phylloxera crisis, this method has almost disappeared along with the vineyard from which, however, the best and most productive varieties were saved.
Today, likewise its Swiss neighboring in Vaud and Geneva, winemakers from the Gex area work to renew and perpetuate the traditions around wine varieties such as Chasselas, Chardonnay, Gamay or Pinot (noir et gris). Challex, the sunniest town of the territory and only wine village of Gex area, offers a fine example with its certified organic field.