Apres-ski drinking in Crans Montana is a far more refined affair than just happy hour in resort bars; instead visitors can spend the evening tasting the town's award-winning wines in local cellars and restaurants.
The wines, cultivated on the hillsides below Crans-Montana, are often awarded prizes for recognition of their quality: a gold medal this autumn at the Mondial du Pinot Noir for the La Romaine cellar, and a silver medal at Vinea in Sierre, the Swiss fair for those passionate about wine.
Crans Montana offers exceptional climatic conditions for wine growing with plenty of sun in this region, the driest in the country. Maximum exposure and altitude allow all varieties to be planted, early varieties up high, later ones at the bottom of the hill.
The limestone soil allows many well-known specialities to be grown (petite arvine, cornalin) as well as the grand classics (fendant, pinot noir) and Rhône or native varieties of Valais (humagne blanche, ermitage, johannisberg, humagne rouge, syrah).
The town also boasts production of late harvest wine, from vines sometimes harvested in the snow. The most famous of these wines are awarded the Grain Noble Confidential label.
The many restaurants in Crans-Montana offer most of these wines. It is also possible to visit the many local wine cellars directly for tasting.