Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of V


Wines made from a single grape variety.


Smells and tastes in wine that are reminiscent of plants and vegetables (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, which exhibits these qualities that are part of the varietal character).


Having rich flavor and a smooth, soft texture.


A fortified wine that has been flavoured with as many as 40 herbs and spices.

Vertical and horizontal wine tasting

In a vertical tasting, different vintages of the same wine type of wine from the one winery are tasted. This emphasizes differences between vintages. In a horizontal tasting, the wines are all from the same vintage but are from different wineries. Keeping wine variety or type and wine region the same helps emphasize differences in winery styles.


French for vine grower.


In wine, a lively taste or feel.


A vine’s growth rate.


A sour-tasting, highly acidic (acetic acid), liquid made from the oxidation of ethanol in wine, cider, beer, fermented fruit juice, or nearly any other liquid containing alcohol.


A place where grape vines are grown for wine making purposes.

Vinho verde

An effervescent white wine produced in Portugal.


The art and science of making wine. Also called enology (or oenology). Not to be confused with viticulture.


The process of making grape juice into wine.


Wine-tasting term pertaining to the alcoholic strength of a wine and its grape character.


The year in which a particular wine’s grapes were harvested. When a vintage year is indicated on a label, it signifies that a minimum percentage of the grapes used to make the wine in the bottle were harvested in that year. Applicable regulatory bodies set the minimum percentage.


Winemaker, wine producer or winery proprietor.


Thick appearance in wine showing the presence of glycerol.


Viticulture is the study or cultivations or grapes and grapevines. Also called viniculture.

Vitis labrusca

A grape native to North America. It is this root stock that saved the European vine from phylloxera. See also foxy

Vitis Vinifera

The botanical name for the native European grapevine from which most of the world’s quality wine is made.


A wine affected by the presence of acetic acid is said to be volatile, or to have volatile acidity (v.a.). In small amounts, this can contribute to complexity, but in excess it gives wine a slightly sour, vinegary edge.

Volatile acidity

The level of acetic acid present within a wine.

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

Humagne Rouge

An alpine red variety that is a specialty in Valais, this vine is no relation to the similarly named Humagne Blanche. Humagne Rouge is a hardy, late ripening grape whose planted surface has increased largely during the last 20 years. It produces a fine wine, low in tannin with a slightly wild character that is ideal with game dishes.

Pinot blanc

Pinot blanc is a mutation of Pinot Gris. It may have found its way up the Rhône to Valais with any number of mercenaries returning to Switzerland, and today small quantities are cultivated in many Swiss wine regions. When grown in favorable conditions it produces a fruity wine with good acidity.


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.

A remedy for the moroseness of old age.


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