Swiss Wine Regions

Swiss Wine Vintage 2010

Grape leaves in the sun

Early opinion of the 2009 Swiss wine vintage was “promising”, but by the end of the year the federal agriculture department near Nyon officially declared it as “excellent” for both quality and quantity.

For most of Switzerland the weather played nice. The early budding in spring, helped by a hot and dry June, led to quick flowering. A dry late summer and early fall helped the grapes mature well, and the weather stayed friendly for the harvest.

There were some problem patches: for example a 15-minute hail storm in July in the La Côte region damaged some vine parcels. But generally the good season made up for it, with the nearly 15,000 hectares of vines in Switzerland yielding 1.1 million hectoliters, 35,000 more than the previous year.

The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Rèze

Rèze is an extremely rare white variety found only in Valais. Not often produced as a varietal, Rèze is blended with other Vieux Plants of Valais. Rèze was also used to make the historic “vin des glaciers”, an amber colored wine produced in Val d’Anniviers using the solera technique.

No longer done today, one method in the past was to store Rèze in larch wood barrels, which gave the wine resinous flavor similar to the Greek Retsina, and masking some grape flavor.

Goron de Bovernier

Goron de Bovernier is a red grape, which according to José Vouillamoz is probably a natural hybrid of Cornalin du Valais and an unknown variety. The grape gets its name from the municipality of Bovernier, in Valais. Small quantities are still found in lower Valais.

Pinot Gris

Called Malvoisie in Valais, this grape has nothing to do with any of the Malvoisie varieties of the Muscat family and is another of the mutations of Pinot Noir. A vine grown in many of the Swiss areas, in Valais, Pinot Gris produces a fine sweet late harvest wine with honey overtones.

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