Swiss Wine Regions

Grand Prix du Vin Suisse, 2008

No state support, no regional pre-selections, and no quotas, the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse competition is open to all Swiss wine producers, and reflects the eclectic range of Swiss wines. For the 2008 Grand Prix du Vin Suisse, 460 Swiss wine producers provided 1,860 wines for judging in 11 categories.This is a In a 20% increase over last year.

The competition, organized by Vinea and wine magazine Vinum, took place June 24-27 in Sierre, Valais. Adhering to international standards set by the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) and the Union Internationale des Oenologues (UIOE), the 120 judges tasted, ranked and awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as honorable mentions.

Winners will be announced November 7, 2008 at the Swiss Wine Night in Zurich. The Grand Prix du Vin Suisse award-winning wines will be featured in the Vinum wine magazine and be highlighted in the 2009-2010 Swiss Wine Guide, which for the first time have an English edition.

The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains

The Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, is one of the oldest grape varieties still around. It’s linked to the Anathelicon moschaton grape used by the Ancient Greeks, and the Apiane grapevines of the Romans. A white grape, it’s a member of the Muscat family. The name comes from its small berry and tight clusters. it’s called Muscat Canelli in Valais, but also goes under lots of names: Muscat Blanc, Moscato Bianco, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat d'Alsace, Muskateller, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Moscatel Rosé and Sárgamuskotály. Theoretically a white grape, the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains can also produce berries that are pink or reddish brown.

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.

Gwäss

Gwäss is the German-ized name of Gouais Blanc.

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