Swiss Wine Regions

Valais

Räuschling

The Räuschling grape is a very old and probably indigenous Swiss white wine grape. Once fairly common in Switzerland and Alsace, Räuschling got pushed aside by the more useful Müller-Thurgau grape, and today Räuschling is a minor grape. Still found in Alsace, France, and occasionally used in the “Vin d’Alsace”, it still retains quite some respect in the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, most notably in the canton of Zurich, where is is considered a “Zuri-grape”.

It is also planted in Valais.

Synonyms: 

Brauner Nürnberger, Buchelin, Divicina, Divizhna, Divishna-vizhna, Dretsch, Drötsch, Drutsch, Dünnelbling, Erjava Tizhna, Frankentraube, Gros fendant, Großer Räuschling, Grünspat, Guay Jaune, Heinzler, Klaffer, Klöpfer, Luttenberger, Luttenbergerstock, Luttenbershna, Lyonnaise Blanche, Melon Blanc, Nürnberger Braun, Offenburger, Padebecker, Pfäffling, Pfaffentraube, Räuschling Gross, Reuschling, Rössling, Ruchelin, Rüschling, Rüssling, Silberweiß, Thunerrebe, Weißer Kläpfer, Weißer Räuschling, Zürirebe, Züriweiß, Zürichrebe und Züriwiss

Wine Styles: 
subtle, balanced, fruity, fresh white wine with a pleasing acidity
Origin: 
Switzerland

Planscher

Planscher belongs to a group of grapes that do well in the Alpine regions of Italy and in Valais, Switzerland. An ancient white wine grape vine once found in the Rhone valley, it was close to being extinct. Today small amounts of Planscher grow in Visperterminen, Canton Valais.

Synonyms: 

Barolo, Bourguignon, Bourgogne Blanc, Gamay Blanc, Gros Bourgogne, Bourgogne Gros Rhin Gros, Plant du Rhin and Schaffhausen

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Vinea Swiss wines fair

The first weekend of September will be your chance to meet more that 150 Swiss wine producers from all over Switzerland. Better yet, you'll have the chance to taste some great wine, and ask questions of the people that produced them.

The region around Sierre is also beautiful and a good chance to combine your wine interests with hiking, photography and many of the pass times available in Switzerland.

September 2, 2011 (All day)
September 4, 2011 (All day)
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Sierre, Sierre

Sierre is the capital of the Sierre district in the canton of Valai, Switzerland

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The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Gouais Blanc

A promiscuous grape. Not good for much, but with a long, long line of descendents, including the noble Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Possibly from Croatia, it’s called Heunisch Weiss in Central Europe.

The name Gouais is comes from ‘gou’, which is a scornful word from old French referring to its standing as the grape of the peasants. Very prevalent in the Ile-de-France and in the Champagne during the Middle Ages and perhaps brought into Valais by the descendants of the Ligurians.

Acidic and with little residual sugar, it’s primarily used to blend with low acidic wine to give it a bit of liveliness. Ampelographic studies in the old vineyards of Oberwallis have found a red Gwäss with the same characteristics as the white Gwäss. Almost abandoned, it survives in Haut-Valais hiding under the alias of Gwäss, thanks to Mr. Josef-Marie Chanton, http://www.chanton.ch/home.html

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.

Gewürztraminer

The name Gewürztraminer is obviously German, although the origin of the grape is the Tyrollean Alps, near the village of Termeno (Tramin) in Alto Adige, Italy. Gewürz is German for spice. The vine is evidently a pain in the ass to grow and does best in cooler climates. In Germany the wine of this grape is often made off-dry, in Alsace it’s dry and floral, and in Switzerland it produces a wide range. Gewürztraminer is one of the most pungent wine varietals and reasonably easy to identify with just your nose. It is one of the few wine that can hold its own with spicy Asian food.

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart.

Ecclesiastes

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