Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of L

Lactic acid

A single carboxyl acid produced during malolactic fermentation.

Late harvest wine

Also known as late picked, wine made from grapes that have been left on the vine longer than usual. Usually an indicator for a very sweet or dessert wine.

Leaf roll

A viral disease in grape vines.

Lees

Solid waste at the bottom of the ferment, primarily composed of dead yeast cells and grape matter.

Legs

Viscous columns which trickle down the inside surface of a glass after a wine has been swirled. Prominent legs indicate high alcohol.

Lightstruck

A tasting term for a wine that has had long exposure to ultraviolet light causing wet cardboard type aroma and flavor.

Liqueur d'expedition

Liqueur added to top up disgorged wine.

Litre (US - Liter)

A metric measure of volume equal to 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.) or 35.2 fl oz (imperial).

Look

A tasting term for the visual evaluation of a wine.

Luscious

Describes sweet wines such as liqueur Muscat and Tokay that are rich, fruity and high in residual sugar.

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

Räuschling

The Räuschling grape is a very old and probably indigenous Swiss white wine grape. Once fairly common in Switzerland and Alsace, Räuschling got pushed aside by the more useful Müller-Thurgau grape, and today Räuschling is a minor grape. Still found in Alsace, France, and occasionally used in the “Vin d’Alsace”, it still retains quite some respect in the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, most notably in the canton of Zurich, where is is considered a “Zuri-grape”.

It is also planted in Valais.

Mondeuse

An old red grape variety well known in neighboring Savoie, Mondeuse is a rarity found in scattered plots in Chablais (Vaud).

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.

Wine is bottled poetry

Robert Louis Stevenson

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