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The Romans planted vines in the Basel and Windisch-Aargau area around the turn of the century and founded viticulture. In the 6th century AD, monks from Burgundy founded the monastery of St. Maurice near Aigle in the canton of Vaud and cultivated vineyards. In the middle of the 8th century, there is evidence of vineyards in the Rhine valley in Chur and on Lake Constance. As elsewhere in Europe, viticulture was cultivated by the Cistercians in the Middle Ages. They founded the Hautcrèt Palézieux monastery near Les Tavernes and in 1142 planted the first terraced vineyard on Lake Geneva in the canton of Vaud. The Dézaley area is still one of the best appellations in Switzerland today. From the beginning of the confederation of the three cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden in 1291 until the 18th century, wine production increased steadily. Around the year 1850, the vineyards covered around 35,000 hectares, more than twice as much as today. In the 19th century, viticulture suffered a decline due to foreign competition, as well as phylloxera and mildew, which reached Switzerland as one of the last European countries. After the Second World War there was a revival.

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