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

Sylvaner

Originally from the Danube basin, Sylvaner is widely planted in well-exposed locations in Valais where it ripens later than Chasselas, producing wines with good body, bouquet and acidity. It is also used, although rarely, for late harvest wine.

Humagne Blanche

Only planted in Valais today, Humagne blanche* is another of the very old Swiss grapes, probably brought in by the Romans. Having a high iron content, and supposedly health-giving properties, this wine was decreed a “health wine” (Krankenwein) for centuries. The old written documents in which this wine is referred to as vinum hum-anum date from the 12th and 14th Centuries. It’s also called Kinderbettenwein or baby crib wine. I’ll bet those kids didn’t have much to cry about.

*no relation to the Humagne Rouge

Himbertscha

Himbertscha is one of the rare indigenous white varieties from Haut-Valais, mostly at home in the vineyards of Visperterminen (Upper Valais). The name Himbertscha is said to come from a raspberry (himbeer in German) taste of the wine himbeerartigen. Jose-Marie Chanton who specializes in cultivating the old vines from Wallis makes this wine available under the quality label “Brantignon”. He also cultivates the Himbertscharebe, another “rediscovered” old Walliser white wine.

Wine improves with age - I like it the older I get.

Anonymous

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