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

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.

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.

Alcohol, if taken in sufficient quantities, can give one the illusion of drunkenness.

Oscar Wilde

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