Try Sion wines at the Verre à Pied – Tasting menus, wine tours and more!
In French, “Verre à pied” translates as a wine glass, but in Sion’s case, it refers to a wine cellar-bar-cum shop situated right in the heart of the old town. This wine bar is open seven days a week and stocks 180 kinds of wine that can be found in the Sion region. The wine “tasting” menu (CHF 15 for five glasses of different wine) is a great way to learn about the range of different wines and is rotated on a weekly basis.
The Verre à Pied is run by the members of the “l’Association des Encaveurs de Sion” (the wine producer’s association of Sion). Claude Charvet, the director of the association explained to Living in Sion,
“Sion wines are relatively unknown outside the canton, so our bar/shop gives us the chance to showcase the different wine producers; from the big names who produce around one million bottles per year, to the smaller, artisanal producer who produces just 30,000 bottles.
50 different kind of grapes in the Sion area
Here in the Verre à Pied, we take the time to explain all about the wine to our customers. There are 50 different kinds of grapes in the Sion area and the wine in the Verre à Pied represents 27 of these! For example, one grape that is almost completely unique to the area (it can also be found in a certain area of Aosta in Italy) is the Petite Arvine and 150 hectares of it are spread across the Valais.
During the week there is a manager here and I am on site every Friday to answer questions (note: Claude speaks perfect English) about the wine and the grapes in the region.
We are open every day including Sunday during the hours of “apéro” from 10:30-13:30 and 16:30-20:30. We can also provide a selection of tapas or small dishes of food. We don’t have a kitchen in the Verre à Pied, instead, we work with all the local restaurants nearby – we just call them and they bring the food to us, it’s a collaborative affair.
We have regular customers who know their wines really well and simply come here to buy the wine by the bottle and take it home. It’s the same price here as it is at the actual wine producer.
Photo above – Claude Charvet director of the wine producer’s association of Sion.
Discover the town with a wine tour
Another way to discover the Verre à Pied is through the wine tours organised by Sion Tourism. These happen Monday to Friday and include a tasting of five wines plus an “Assiette Valaisanne” (a traditional plate of cold cut meats with cheese). The tour includes a visit to three historical monuments in the town, one of which is the thermal baths that can be found under the church of St Theodule. This is a real treat as some people from Sion haven’t even been there. The tour ends here of course! ”
The Verre à Pied can be found at Avenue Grand-Pont 29 in Sion. Telephone 027 321 138.
Photo above – the wine tasting menu which changes every week.