Swiss Wine Regions

Schaffhausen, Land of Blauburgunder

Red wine grapes and red leaves

Blauburgunder, did I hear you say? Oh yeah, Schaffhausen’s nickname of Blauburgunderland is well deserved. Blauburgunder, or Pinot noir for the rest of us, is by far the dominant wine grape in Schaffhausen. Read more »

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Michael Broger Weinbau

Michael Broger of Michael Broger Weinbau

Housed in a restored early 19th-Century farmhouse in Ottoberg, the 2.5 acres Broger Weinbau above Boltshausen is a wish realized for Michael Broger. Read more »

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Wine Regions of Thurgau

Map of Thurgau

Bucolic Thurgau is better known for orchards and strawberries, but this north eastern corner of Switzerland has a history of vinticulture dating back to at least the Romans. Read more »

Expovina, Zurich Wine Exhibition

It's the 58th Expovina (Zurich Wine Exhibition). And What is that, you ask? Well, it's just one of the worlds largest wine conventions and probably the most important one for the Swiss wine producers, that's all.

Spread over 12 ships docked at Bürkliplatz, Zurich, it brings together 120 exhibitors with more that 4000 quality wines from around the world, and Switzerland will be well represented.

This well visited, sometimes bustling, wine conventions is a great way to taste a wide variety of wine, learn what's new in the industy, and meet some of the people making it happen. It's also a good way to kick off an evening, and Zurich's Neiderdorf (the old town) is a short stroll away.

November 3, 2011 (All day)
November 17, 2011 (All day)
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The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Sémillon

Hard to believe that Sémillon’s main claim to fame is its propensity to rot, but because of its soft skin Sémillon is prone to Botrytis cinerea (a.k.a. “noble rot”). The “rot” concentrates the acid and sugar in the grape, and the resulting wine can be complex, rich, sweet, and aromatic. In short: pretty damn nice. The best known of this sweet style wine is Sauternes, coming from the Sauternais region of the Graves, near Bordeaux in France.

Sémillon can also make an elegant dry white wine, but since it can be short on acidity, it is often vinified with Sauvignon blanc.

Arvine

Another delivery from Rome, there are actually three Arvine grape varieties, only two used for wine production: Grand Arvine, with the larger berries, and Petit Arvine, with the, you guessed it, smaller berries. The unloved Arvine brune has faded from the scene. Grand Arvine gets criticized for displaying little character, whereas the Petit Arvine tends to have a fuller bouquet and lower acidity. In blind tasting, Petit Arvine generally kicks ass against its plumper brother. Arvine is also an excellent grape for late harvest wine, which can be cellared.

Merlot

Imported from the Bordeaux region, Merlot has found a second home in Ticino where it performs extremely well. Later-ripening than the other main Swiss varieties, it is hardly present in other areas. Merlot red wines are racy, tannic and richly colored. A white wine from this black grape, commercialized as Merlot Bianco, gives quite interesting results and is increasingly popular with producers and consumers alike.

To eat, to drink and to be merry.

Ecclesiates

Swiss Alps, cows, wine bottle and large clock face in Bern, Switzerland

Fine Swiss Wine

Discover Switzerland’s odd grapes, small producers, and eclectic tastes