Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of R

Racking

The process of drawing wine off the sediment, such as lees, after fermentation and moving it into another vessel.

Rehoboam

A large bottle holding 4.5 liters, the equivalent of six regular wine bottles.

Rémuage
Reserva

Spanish and Portuguese term for a reserve wine.

Residual sugar

Unfermented natural grape sugar that contributes sweetness to a finished wine.

Reverse osmosis

A process used to remove excess water from wine.

Riddling

In the making of sparkling wine, including Champagne, Riddling is a traditional and tedious method for consolidating lees near the neck of the bottle to make it easier to remove. The bottles are placed neck down into racks called pupitres. At reqular intervals (from several time a day to once every few days) over a period (two to ten weeks) the bottles are shaken, given a twist, and dropped back into the the rack. This is to release the lees from the side of the bottle. The angle of the rack is gradulally increased, starting at a 45° until 90°, and the lees collect in the neck, ready for dégorgement .

To the relief of many winemakers, this process is mostly done by machine (gyropalettes), although some of the primier Cuvées in Champagne it's still done by hand.

Also known as Rémuage,

Root stock

Root system to which a grape variety is grafted.

Rootstock

The root section of an established, healthy plant, used for grafting. The section being grafted to the rootstock is called the scion.

Rosé

Rosé wine is made from 100% red wine grapes and can range in color from a pale orange to near-purple. In red wine, all the color comes from the skin (all juice is white), so to make the pale Rosé, after crushing, the skins remain in contact with the juice for just a short time. The must is then pressed, and the skins are discarded. From then it is processed as a white wine. Rosés are ready to drink quite young.

Rotling

A Rotling is a wine made with both red and white grapes. They may be crushed separately, but must be vinified together. In contrast to all other types of wine, grape must may be added to increase the residual sugar. Mistakenly called Rosé wine because of its color. Rotling is fairly common in Germany

Round

Describes a texture that is well balanced with agreeable qualities of fullness (body) without other characters in excess.

Ruby

A style of Port wine that is generally sweet.

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

Syrah

A classic red grape variety transplanted from the Côtes-du-Rhône area, Syrah is still somewhat of a rarity here and is grown mainly in Valais and on well-exposed slopes. It produces a spicy, deeply colored, elegant tannic wine that ages well.

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

Auxerrois blanc

A clone of the prolific Pinot Noir, Auxerrois blanc is a close cousin of Pinot blanc. It comes from the county of Auxerrois, and is best known from Alsace.

One not only drinks the wine, one smells it, observes it, tastes it, sips it and--one talks about it.

King Edward VII

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