Profile: Michael Broger Weinbau (Ottoberg, Thurgau)

When Michael Broger and I strolled through his vineyard garden in late August, it was bursting with life. In one corner was a flock of brown-coated Såne sheep quietly feasting on a selection of grasses and legumes. In another corner, an assortment of winged and jumping insects loitered around their rustic wooden residence. Underfoot were […]

Everything Old Is New Again: A Completer Septicentennial

It’s safe to say the 700 Years of Completer celebration in October was the first birthday party for a 700-something I’ve ever attended. Not so for the event organizer, Dr. José Vouillamoz, who’s an old hand at this kind of thing — yes, the 700 Years of Rèze and Humagne Blanche party in 2013 was […]

Swiss Grapes: Amigne — The Pride of Vétroz

Any discussion of the rare Swiss grape Amigne should begin with a mention of its longtime home, Vétroz. This nondescript village of 6400 residents boasts 174 hectares of vineyards — 102 of which are planted on terraces supported by exquisitely crafted dry-stone walls (Fig. 1). More than one-third of this privileged portion is devoted to Amigne. […]

The Clos du Mormont — A Spirit in the Vineyard

As a child of California who grew up during the New Age Movement, I’m familiar with talk of energy vortexes, power centers, and other metaphysical notions. I’m also familiar with the movement’s many intersections: Werner Erhard’s human potentiality seminars, for instance, or the eclectic offerings of the Esalen Institute. Back then, it was normal for […]

Calling Mr. Natural — A Battle Cry

In his recent essay entitled Are We Entering the Post-Natural Wine Era?, author Jamie Goode attempts to answer one question by asking another: “Where does natural wine finish and conventional wine start?” The implication is that the two sides are now so close in their practices that to distinguish between them is nearly meaningless. There is no doubt, […]

Swiss Grapes: Completer — The Answer to a Prayer

This article first appeared in Trink Magazine — Issue 04-07-2021 By traditional measures, my first year of college was a waste. I spent a lot of it playing cards with a gang of liberal theologians at a Jesuit university in California. Towering above the group was our guru, the truest Renaissance man I’ve ever met […]

A Wine of Note: Weingut Lenz (Uesslingen-Buch, Thurgau)

Recently, I received a sample box of organic and biodynamic wine from Winemaker.com, a new e-commerce site for Swiss wine, as a way to introduce me to their services. The list of participating wineries is impressive and if the business proves successful, I look for the list to grow. Frankly, there’s no reason it shouldn’t. […]