Swiss Wine Regions

Oeil-de-Perdrix

Oeil-de-Perdix is the flagship wine of Neuchâtel. It is a delicate rose wine made from the Pinot noir grape and it is a Neuchâtel speciality - and has been for centuries. Unfortunately the Canton failed to protect it, and as a result you may see the name "Oeil-de-Perdix" on any rose wine from around the world.

Within Switzerland the Oeil-de-Perdix name may only be used on rose made from Pinot noir, and a good Neuchâtel Oeil-de-Perdix will have the typical Pinot noir bouquet.

As a side note, in 1975 a rose wine was made from the Zinfandel grape at the Sutter Home Winery in California. The wine got "stuck" during fermentation, making a sweet, pink wine, which met with great success and little respect. It has been referred to as the "blue haired ladies" wine.

The maker, Bob Trinchero, had wanted to name it "Oeil de Perdrix", but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) demanded that Trinchero translate the name to avoid confusion for the American public. Since from a marketing point of view "Eye-of-the-Partridge" is fairly meaningless, "White Zinfandel" was born. White evidentially being the least confusing description for a rose.

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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.

Lafnetscha

Here’s an obscure language lesson. The name Lafnetscha is derived from the local dialect. Because the grape is harvested early, it makes for a acerbic wine which should not be drunk too young. In the local dialect, the verb to drink is “gelafft”, so laff-nit-scha is drink-not-already (sort of). As to the grape, it is one of the oldest in from Haut-Valais. Almost identical to the Blachier. Please see Completer for more information.

Marsanne Blanche

Originally from the steep slopes of the Côtes-du-Rhône, the Marsanne blanche grape found its way up the Rhone to Valais in Switzerland, and is known here under the name of Ermitage (or Hermitage).

New loves and old wine, give a man these and he never refines.

Francis Beeding

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