Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of E

Earthy

A musty or savory flavor found in some wine (often referred to in tasting notes as barnyard characters).

Eiswein

German for ice wine, a dessert wine made from frozen grapes.

Elegant

Describes wines that are graceful, well balanced and usually light-bodied.

en Tirage

French for in pulling, refers to the period of time in which bottled sparkling wine is rested in contact with lees generated during secondary fermentation. Part of the Méthode Champenoise.

Enology

American English spelling of oenology, the study of wine.

Estate winery

A United States winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site, sometimes known as a Farm winery.

Ethyl alcohol

Ethyl alcohol, also called Ethanol, is the primary alcohol in an alcoholic beverage.

Extra dry

A Champagne or sparkling wine with a small amount of residual sugar (slightly sweet). Not as dry as Brut.

Glossary by Letter

  • A (21)
  • B (36)
  • C (38)
  • D (17)
  • E (8)
  • F (24)
  • G (5)
  • H (7)
  • I (4)
  • J (2)
  • K (1)
  • L (10)
  • M (25)
  • N (5)
  • O (10)
  • P (23)
  • Q (1)
  • R (13)
  • S (31)
  • T (21)
  • U (2)
  • V (22)
  • W (11)
  • Y (2)
  • Z (1)

The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Freisamer

The Freisamer plays more of a role in Graubünden but has a small presence in a few other cantons. It’s a hybrid of Silvaner x Pinot gris, developed in Freiburg in the Breisgau region. A temperamental grape that puts great demands on the type of soil and location—do I hear you say “terroir”?—it’s been trying to make a name for itself since the sixties but hasn’t really taken off.

Cabernet Sauvignon

A classic international variety, Cabernet Sauvignon is marginally cultivated in Geneva, Vaud, Valais and Ticino. Besides being vinified as a varietal, it is blended with other Bordeaux grape varieties, or with old Valais varieties.

Humagne Rouge

An alpine red variety that is a specialty in Valais, this vine is no relation to the similarly named Humagne Blanche. Humagne Rouge is a hardy, late ripening grape whose planted surface has increased largely during the last 20 years. It produces a fine wine, low in tannin with a slightly wild character that is ideal with game dishes.

Tis better for pearls to pass through the lips of swine than good wine to pass through the lips of the indifferent!

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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