Vaud is the second-largest wine-growing region found in the French-speaking southwest part of Switzerland. A quarter of the wine production of the country is happening in the Vaud region and this is the kingdom of the white Chasselas grape variety, which is called Perlan here. The history of the Vaud region goes back to the Middle Ages when the Cistercian order carried out important pioneering work, whose monks carefully wrested the majority of the vineyards that still exist today on the steep slopes. Climatically the Vaud region is strongly influenced by the lakes around, which create particularly favourable conditions for the cultivation of vineyards. When the sun crosses over the lake during the day, a big part of the light is reflected up to the vineyards above, as most of them are terraces carved into the south-facing slopes. The temperate climate and high radiance is the secret behind Vaud's terroir. The region is divided into four main wine-growing areas including Chablais, Bonvillars, Lavaux and La Côte. Since 1995 the region has an appellation system which is similar to the French one, with the most famous Grand Cru terraced vineyards, planted with Chasselas the Dezaley and the Calamin, which have been there for ages. Other grapes which are becoming increasingly popular are the Chardonnay and the Sauvignon Blanc, a sign of Switzerland's increasing focus on export markets. There are plantings of Pinot Noir and Gamay which are very often blended together to form some of the most beloved red wines from the locals. Overall the region offers great quality and production of a unique style of wines which have been internationally acclaimed.