Swiss Wine Regions

Vaud Wine Region

Vaud, Switzerland's second most important wine canton, is where Chasselas, the French outcast grape, seems to have found ideal conditions; chalky limestone soils, underlying alkaline earth, and a nurturing climate. It is in Vaud that the finest Chasselas based wines are found, including the prestigious Dézaley.

Athough the Chasselas grape accounts for over 80% of plantings, you will also find Pinot noir, Gamay, a humbled Chardonnay, and Pinot gris.

The Vaud wine region is distributed across three wine sub-regions: Chablais, La Côte and Lavaux*. Here the steep terraced vineyards plunge from hillside villages right to the edge of Lake Geneva, stretching from the north shores of lake Geneva to the Rhône Valley.

*Lavaux is the home of Dézaley.

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The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Cabernet franc

Cabernet franc, one of the Bordeaux grapes, is a bit like the little brother of the Cabernet sauvignon grape. Cabernet franc is usually used for blending.

Johannisberg

Second in white wines of Valais (after Fendant). The name Johannisberg is only used in Valais; the rest of French-speaking Switzerland call it Gros Rhin. The grape used to make Johannisberg is the Grüner Sylvaner. The origin of the grape is not clear. On the one hand it strongly resembles the Roman Apianisien (loved by bees) grape, as described by Pliny the Elder in his “Historia naturalis”, on the other hand, its more likely birthplace is in Romanian Transylvania.

Muscat Ottonel

Muscat Ottonel is a member of the Muscat family. Used for dry wines in Alsace and Hungary, and dessert wines in Austria and Croatia. In Switzerland it is usually used for light, dry wines. It’s parentage is believed to be the Muscat de Saumur and Chasselas.

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