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

Riesling

A classic German white variety, Riesling (or Petit Rhin) is rare in Valais but does produce good results on the favorable schistose soils around Sion.

Nobling

Nobling is a cross between Silvaner and Chassalas from Staatliches Weinbauinstitut at Freiburg. It’s being tested in Valais and can be found in retail.

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.

Burgundy for Kings, Champagne for Duchesses, and claret for Gentlemen

French Proverb

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