Swiss Wine Regions

Wine Making

Terroir

French for soil, the physical and geographical characteristics of a particular vineyard site that give the resultant wine its unique properties.

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Thief

A tubular instrument for removing a sample from a cask or barrel. Also called a pipe.

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Toast

The charcoal that is burned into the inside of wine casks. To toast refers to that process. It also refers to the practice of drinking an alcohol beverage along with wishing good health or other good fortune.

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Triage

The sorting of the grapes.

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The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Chardonnay

A vigorous and adaptable vine from Burgundy, Chardonnay grows pretty much everywhere that wine is made. Although production is not so high in Switzerland, award-winning wines have come out of Geneva, Valais and Neuchâtel.

Aligot

Originates from Burgundy and spread through France. Originally called “Plant du Rhin” when it was brought to Geneva in the early 1900’s, and is now something of a specialty in Geneva. It was also introduced into Valais as an alternative to Johannisberg, but it didn’t fare so well and today survives in only a few small areas in Unterwallis.

Gwäss

Gwäss is the German-ized name of Gouais 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