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

Sylvaner

Originally from the Danube basin, Sylvaner is widely planted in well-exposed locations in Valais where it ripens later than Chasselas, producing wines with good body, bouquet and acidity. It is also used, although rarely, for late harvest wine.

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.

Weisser Burgunder

See: Pinot Blanc

Wine is at the head of all medicines; where wine is lacking, drugs are necessary.

Talmud

Swiss Alps, cows, wine bottle and large clock face in Bern, Switzerland

Fine Swiss Wine

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