Swiss Wine Regions

15 ways to explore the world of Swiss wine

Grape leaves on Trail, Image by A. Haenni

Interested in tasting wines at Ticino wineries? How about hiking with a St. Bernard through Valais vineyards? From mainstream to unusual, here's a collection of links for travelers interested in Swiss wine.

1. Walk with St. Bernard Dogs through Valais Vineyards

2. A big section about food and wine on the official Swiss travel site My Switzerland, the national marketing and sales organization for Swiss tourism.

3. Discover the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
4. Gourmet strolls in the Lake Geneva area
5. Wine experiences in the canton of Schaffhausen
6. A writer for Epicurean Traveler recounts their wine safari in the southwestern corner of Switzerland
7. Wine and gourmet experiences at Ohbox, a unique Swiss travel boutique
8. List of wine producers in the Mendrisiotto region of Ticino. Provides a wealth of well-organized information about which wineries offer visiting, tasting and purchasing.
9. The site of Vinea, an annual September wine fair in Sierre, Valais
10. Wines of the region from the Bernese Jura tourism office
11. The Route du Vignoble in the renowned wine-making region of La Cote
14. Gastro-Excursions in the Fribourg Region, including a horse-carriage trip to the vineyards of Cheyres
15. Ellen Wallace leads the team that prepares the English version of the annual Swiss Wine Guide, and writes this wonderful column for Geneva Lunch.

The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Gamaret

A new variety, developed in 1970 at Pully (Vaud), Gamaret is enjoying a growing success with producers and consumers alike. It produces a wine that is richly coloured and well-structured with sometimes-spicy notes that ages well. Gamaret is a cross between Gamay and Reichensteiner (a white grape.)

Gouais Blanc

A promiscuous grape. Not good for much, but with a long, long line of descendents, including the noble Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Possibly from Croatia, it’s called Heunisch Weiss in Central Europe.

The name Gouais is comes from ‘gou’, which is a scornful word from old French referring to its standing as the grape of the peasants. Very prevalent in the Ile-de-France and in the Champagne during the Middle Ages and perhaps brought into Valais by the descendants of the Ligurians.

Acidic and with little residual sugar, it’s primarily used to blend with low acidic wine to give it a bit of liveliness. Ampelographic studies in the old vineyards of Oberwallis have found a red Gwäss with the same characteristics as the white Gwäss. Almost abandoned, it survives in Haut-Valais hiding under the alias of Gwäss, thanks to Mr. Josef-Marie Chanton, http://www.chanton.ch/home.html

Humagne Rouge

An alpine red variety that is a specialty in Valais, this vine is no relation to the similarly named Humagne Blanche. Humagne Rouge is a hardy, late ripening grape whose planted surface has increased largely during the last 20 years. It produces a fine wine, low in tannin with a slightly wild character that is ideal with game dishes.

A remedy for the moroseness of old age.

Plato

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