Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of H

Hard

A tasting term for a wine that contains too much tannin and is therefore unpleasant. Hard wines sometimes can be improved by aging.

Hectare

A hectare (ha) is a metric measure that equals 10,000 m

Herbaceous

An aroma related to vegetative or grassy characters. Some reds, notably under-ripe Cabernet Sauvignon (a distinct tomato-leaf smell), and some whites (Sauvignon blanc’s asparagus and capsicum flavors, for example) are described as “herbaceous”.

Hock

Term for Rhine wines, usually used in England.

Hogshead

A wine barrel that holds approximately 239 litres (63 gallons).

Hot

Describes the hot or peppery mouthfeel of high alcohol wines (a positive in fortified styles).

Hybrid

Grape variety bred from number of different species.

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

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.

Kerner

Named after local poet and physician, Justinus Kerner, the Kerner grape was hybridized in 1929 in Lauffen in the Württemberg region. A hybrid of the white Riesling and the red Trollinger (Schiava grossa), it resembles the Riesling in character. It is being vinified in limited quantities in Valais, but its future in Valais dosen’t look too bright. It continues to do well in Germany, and on a smaller basis in Austria and Italy.

Gwäss

Gwäss is the German-ized name of Gouais Blanc.

He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.

Martin Luther

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