Domaine La Colombe: Pinot Gris “La Colombe Grise” Retrospective — 2015-2006

Back in the formative years of my professional career Pinot Gris was a life-jacketed castaway clinging to a barrel stave in the vast sea of wine. Its most significant presence was in Alsace but even there it was treading water and a second thought to Riesling with Gewürztraminer flailing close behind. Sure it was planted […]

Profile: Steiner Schernelz Village (Ligerz, Bern)

The public transport options in Switzerland are many and they’re famously efficient but is there another as quirky as the Vinifuni of Ligerz? Probably. A funicular is a thoroughly Swiss contraption that runs on rails in steep and difficult to access areas. It’s a mechanized version of the mule. When one is available it’s usually […]

Three from Geneva: A Contrast in Styles

When the Three Bears of porridge fame attend a wine tasting their scribbled notes might read something like this: Chasselas number one is too light; Chasselas number two is too heavy; but Chasselas number three—ahhh, that one’s just right. After my recent trip to the Vinumrarum event in Bern, I can relate. Among the numerous family […]

Calamin 2016: A Comprehensive Tasting

Despite its recent elevation to the ranks of Grand Cru, Calamin still has a lot to prove. At sixteen hectares it doesn’t yield much wine and among forty-four producers a lot of that is variable. It’s no wonder Calamin is the least understood of all of the Chasselas crus. Calamin has been described as “more robust, […]

Profile: Steve Bettschen — Living the Phusis Life

When I slow down enough to glimpse the future of Swiss wine it’s almost always with a next generation winemaker in tow just returned from an apprenticeship abroad and flush with new ideas and important contacts. Some of them are excited for the opportunity to blaze a new path apart from the previous generation’s and some […]

Book Review: Cépages Suisses: Histoires et Origines (2017)

Cépages Suisses—Histoires et Origines  by José Vouillamoz  Éditions Favre (2017) When you think about Switzerland and its wine you probably don’t think of the incredible diversity of its vineyards (252 cultivars) or the tiny area that contains them (just under 15,000 hectares—the same as in Alsace). It’s safe to say the sheer volume of diverse […]