Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of F

Fan leaf

A viral vine disease.

Farm winery

A United States winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site.

Fault

An unpleasant characteristic of wine resulting from a flaw with the winemaking process or storage conditions.

Federweisser

In Switzerland, Federweisser refers to a white wine made from red grapes. This is different from the German “Federweiße”, which is from white grapes in any stage of fermentation, from just started to almost finished, but still unfiltered. This unfinished “wine” is called Sauser in Switzerland.

Fermentation

The transformation of sugar into alcohol through the action of yeast.

Fiasco

The straw-covered flask historically associated with Chianti.

Fighting varietal

A term that originated in California during the mid 1980s to refer to any inexpensive cork-finished varietal wine in a 1.5 liter bottle.

Filtration

The removal of solid particles from the juice or wine.

Fining

A clarification process where flocculants, such as bentonite or egg white, are added to the wine to remove suspended solids.

Finish

A tasting term for the lingering aftertaste after a wine has been swallowed.

Firm

Term referring to a taste sensation caused by tannins - usually noticeable at the back of the mouth.

Flabby

Tasting term used to indicate a wine lacking in structure, often marked by low acidity.

Flagon

A glass bottle that holds two litres of (usually inexpensive) table wine.

Flétri

Flétri, French: Withered. In the context of wine, it refers to wine made from semi-dried grapes, which concentrates sugar, making dessert wine.

Flinty

Term usually applied to austere, dry and crisp whites.

Flor

Flor (Spanish for flower) is a yeast used to make Sherry. This yeast functions with full contact with oxygen and can ferment to higher than 15 per cent alcohol.

Flowery

An attractive scent reminiscent of flowers. Floral and fragrant are similar descriptors often applied to young, fresh white wines.

Fortified wine

Wine to which alcohol has been added, generally to increase the concentration to a high enough level to prevent fermentation.

Foxy

A tasting term for the musty odor and flavor of wines made from Vitis labrusca grapes native to North America.

Free run

Juice obtained from grapes that have not been pressed, resulting in less tannin from skin, stalk and seed.

Frizzante
Fruit

The main component of the wine, usually grape but other fruits are also used to make wine, such as pear, plum, etc. Often mentioned when the fruit isn’t grown in the same site as the winery (as in “the wine is produced here on-site”) but the fruit is purchased from a vineyard upstate.

Fruit set

After flowering the fertilized flowers are set to form berries.

Fruit wine

A fermented alcoholic beverage made from non-grape fruit juice which may or may not include the addition of sugar or honey. Fruit wines are always called something wines (e.g., plum wine), since the word wine alone is often legally defined as a beverage made only from grapes.

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

Gamay

This is the variety that produces all the Beaujolais wines. Later-ripening than Pinot Noir, Gamay is very widespread in the western, French-speaking part of Switzerland. But it is in Geneva that it has become the dominant red variety. Produced as a varietal in Geneva or blended with Pinot Noir in Vaud (Salvagnin) and Valais (Dôle), Gamay produces lively, light wines with vivacious aromas of freshly picked red fruits. These wines are best consumed young

Chasselas

In contrast to its native France where it wasn’t too successful as a wine grape, the Chasselas shines in Switzerland. Basically neutral in character, it reflects the nuances of the terroirs where it’s grown. Chasselas may be one of the first grape varieties ever cultivated and is one of, if not the dominant wine grapes grown in Switzerland.

Gewürztraminer

The name Gewürztraminer is obviously German, although the origin of the grape is the Tyrollean Alps, near the village of Termeno (Tramin) in Alto Adige, Italy. Gewürz is German for spice. The vine is evidently a pain in the ass to grow and does best in cooler climates. In Germany the wine of this grape is often made off-dry, in Alsace it’s dry and floral, and in Switzerland it produces a wide range. Gewürztraminer is one of the most pungent wine varietals and reasonably easy to identify with just your nose. It is one of the few wine that can hold its own with spicy Asian food.

Water for oxen, wine for kings.

Spanish Proverb

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