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The terraced vineyards of the Lavaux

Vineyard terraces supported by brown stone walls facing 20 kilometers, between Lausanne and Vevey, on the immense blue Lake Lemano (better known as Lake Geneva) and on the snow-covered alpine peaks. This is the Lavaux region (898 hectares, of which 574 hectares of vineyards), registered in 2007 in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural landscape, created by man.

The site has been shaped by the work of generations of winemakers from the Middle Ages to today, creating terracings, stairways and paths and a landscape that has always had artists - from William Turner to Oskar Kokoschka up to Ferdinand Hodler or Charlie Chaplin - and visitors. Already in the XI century the Cistercian and Benedictine monks began to produce wine in this area, which includes fourteen municipalities and six wine-growing areas with controlled cultivation: Lutry, Villette, Saint-Saphorin, Epesses, Dezaley und Chardonne. The farmers say that there are three suns that heat the vineyard: the sun's energy coming from the sky, the reflection of the rays on the lake, the nocturnal release of the heat accumulated during the day by the walls that hold the vineyards.

Must see attractions: the romantic Castle of Chillon (Vaud) made famous by the pages written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Byron, the fortified village of Yvoire ("the pearl of Lake Geneva") on a rocky outcrop, the great beach of Excenevex and the former Abbey of Ripaglia, built in the mid-fourteenth century, with its towers, the park and the renowned vineyard where a highly appreciated white wine is produced.

Info: www.lavaux.ch/SRC/2010/index.html

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