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

Gouais Blanc

A promiscuous grape. Not good for much, but with a long, long line of descendents, including the noble Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Possibly from Croatia, it’s called Heunisch Weiss in Central Europe.

The name Gouais is comes from ‘gou’, which is a scornful word from old French referring to its standing as the grape of the peasants. Very prevalent in the Ile-de-France and in the Champagne during the Middle Ages and perhaps brought into Valais by the descendants of the Ligurians.

Acidic and with little residual sugar, it’s primarily used to blend with low acidic wine to give it a bit of liveliness. Ampelographic studies in the old vineyards of Oberwallis have found a red Gwäss with the same characteristics as the white Gwäss. Almost abandoned, it survives in Haut-Valais hiding under the alias of Gwäss, thanks to Mr. Josef-Marie Chanton, http://www.chanton.ch/home.html

Planscher

Planscher belongs to a group of grapes that do well in the Alpine regions of Italy and in Valais, Switzerland. An ancient white wine grape vine once found in the Rhone valley, it was close to being extinct. Today small amounts of Planscher grow in Visperterminen, Canton Valais.

Rèze

Rèze is an extremely rare white variety found only in Valais. Not often produced as a varietal, Rèze is blended with other Vieux Plants of Valais. Rèze was also used to make the historic “vin des glaciers”, an amber colored wine produced in Val d’Anniviers using the solera technique.

No longer done today, one method in the past was to store Rèze in larch wood barrels, which gave the wine resinous flavor similar to the Greek Retsina, and masking some grape flavor.

Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep well and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved.

Medieval German saying

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