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

Muscat

A very ancient grape probably from Greece, Muscat Blanc is a delicate, difficult variety to cultivate. It is an aromatic specialty limited almost exclusively to Valais. Producing a fine, perfumed aperitif and dessert wine, Muscat Blanc should be served in its prime.

Pinot Noir

Genetic studies have revealed that Pinot Noir is probably one of the two ancestors (the other being the humble Gouais) of some of the most important vines cultivated in Europe today. It is certainly a particularly ancient variety, and originally from Burgundy. Pinot Noir, with its associated clones, is found all over Switzerland, but it is only in the eastern region that it dominates production. It is either produced as a varietal or blended with other grapes. These blends are known as Salvagnin in Vaud and Dôle in Valais. Depending on where it is grown, it can produce a wine that is either light and fruity, or rich and full-bodied.

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.

Wine improves with age - I like it the older I get.

Anonymous

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