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, […]

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. […]

Swiss Grapes: Räuschling — The Acid Queen

Despite an encouraging trend toward greater grapevine diversity, two varieties continue to dominate the Swiss wine landscape. Pinot Noir, of course, is here to stay, because the Swiss, like their German counterparts, fancy themselves the new masters of this sensitive, climate-threatened variety. And the much-maligned Chasselas will always have a home in Suisse Romand, because […]

Eglisau: Vines of the High Rhine

This article first appeared in Trink Magazine  — Issue 2, 14/12/2020 Every guide to Swiss wine begins with the same simple premise: There are six wine regions in Switzerland. That means one of them, Deutschschweiz, is forever miscast as a single entity, even though it encompasses nineteen cantons and covers two-thirds of the nation’s surface area. Meanwhile, […]

In Wine We Trust: The Valentina Passalacqua Saga

The explosive Valentina Passalacqua saga is a cautionary tale for anyone who would exploit a human being for business advantage. It’s also a deep dive into business accountability, transparency and crisis communication. It may also mark the moment when the wine world begins to worry less about sulfite additions and native yeasts and more about […]

Müller-Thurgau: Then and Now

I would argue that the much-maligned cross of Riesling x Silvaner, better known as Müller-Thurgau, is a dual national. There’s no doubt the variety was born in Germany, but what’s not so well known is that it came of age in Switzerland. It was created by a Swiss scientist, Hermann Müller, at Geisenheim in the […]

The Wine Rivers of Switzerland: The Rhine

If the Alps are “The Water Tower of Europe”, as they’re sometimes known, then the Witenwasserenstock, a mountain peak in central Switzerland, is the spigot. Its pointy summit (header photo) is one of the few triple watersheds in Europe and a feeder for the alpine catchments of the Rhine, Rhône and Po basins. There’s more. […]