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. […]

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. […]

Profile: Clos de Tsampéhro (Flanthey, Valais)

It’s not exactly a secret garden — situated as it is mid-slope, in the middle of Valais — but Tsampéhro isn’t obvious either. From a distance it looks like any other vineyard along the Coteaux de Sierre, but upon closer inspection you might notice the low stone wall that surrounds it or the vibrant green, […]

Profile: Domaine Dugerdil, Dardagny, Geneva

From the top of the slope in Dardagny (see header photo) there is so much to see. There are the undulating vineyards, of course, and the sleeping-cat form of Mont Salève in the distance. Close by is a mystical place of geological importance — the end of the Jura and the beginning of the Alps. […]

Profile: Weinbau Thomas Studach (Malans, Graubünden)

To many foreigners Switzerland is a land of carefully cultivated myths and legends punctuated by beautiful mountain landscapes. The would be traveler, without knowing it, is seduced by marketing—eagerly shared by travel writers and recycled by hyper-efficient feedback loops. Thus, the watch industry and train system feed—and are fed by—the aura of Swiss precision and […]

Profile: Weingut Möhr-Niggli (Maienfeld, Graubünden)

Graubünden is Switzerland’s largest and easternmost canton and the only one that trades in three of the national languages—German, Italian and Romansch. Despite its size and eye-popping beauty it’s not a common destination for outsiders except when it’s luxury they seek. The three-star chef Andreas Caminada is ensconced at Schloss Schauenstein and the high-brow resort […]

Profile: Litwan Wein (Oberhof, Aargau)

The first thing you notice about the wine country in Aargau is what you don’t notice: vineyards. That’s because Aargau, in contrast to the comparably-sized but contiguous vineyards of Bündner-Herrschaft and Klettgau, offers a different proposition—discreet micro-parcels scattered in hidden, often heavily wooded valleys. In other words, rather than monoculture, Aargau offers a diversity of […]

Profile: Steiner Schernelz Village (Ligerz, Bern)

The public transport options in Switzerland are many and they’re famously efficient but is there one as quirky as the Vinifuni of Ligerz? Probably not. 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 […]

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 […]

Profile: Cave Caloz (Miège, Valais)

A recent visit to Miège was my first trip to the vineyards since the devastating frosts of late April. From all reports I expected worse but was still struck by the sheer randomness of it all. Spring began optimistically with an early bud break, courtesy of a lengthy and uncharacteristic warm spell, followed by an […]