The wine-growing areas of the canton of St. Gallen cover a little more than 200 hectares. Most of the vineyards are on steep, south-facing hillsides, which by their exposure provide ideal conditions for growing grapes.
The foehn winds in the Rhine Valley and in the region of the Sarganserland, as well as the nearby Lake Constance in the southern Rhine Valley, provide a particularly mild and favorable climate.
As the soils are often lean, the vines are forced to root deep to get to the nutrients necessary for their development. The yields are therefore small, which is attributable among other things to the excellent quality of the wines of St. Gallen.
The wine of St. Gallen are mainly made from the grape varieties Pinot Noir and Müller-Thurgau. Interspecific varieties, resistant to fungal diseases, are grown on some four hectares.
The vineyards of the canton of St. Gallen are divided into four production areas
The wine-growing area in the Rhine Valley of the canton of St. Gallen stretches along the river Rhine, from Sargans to Lake Constance. The largest wine-growing town of the canton is Berneck with 40 hectares of vines. Berneck is located in the very south of the Vally, just upstream of where the waters of the Rhine enter Lake Constance.
In the area between Sargans and Weesen the vineyards are found on steep slopes plunging down to the shores of Lake Walen. Such as the vineyards of Nidberg in the municipality of Mels or the vineyards of the municipality of Quinten right on the shores of Lake Walen with its calcerous soils.
The westernmost wine-growing area lines Lake Zurich between Rapperswil-Jona and Uznach. The vineyard of "Höcklistein" is a prominent point in the area. The iconic white grape, native to the shores of Lake Zurich and called “Räuschling”, is also grown there.
It is around the town of Wil, in the northwestern corner of the canton, that we find the smallest wine area of the canton St. Gallen.