Profile: Domaine La Colombe (Féchy, La Côte, Vaud)

  While Lavaux primps and preens for the camera, its sibling, La Côte, is quietly at work behind the scenes. With nearly three times the vines of Lavaux, La Côte receives only a fraction of the attention. It has no dramatic terraces to seduce camera-laden tourists and no Grand Cru AOC’s to offer. Its languid vineyards flow gently […]

Profile: Weinbau Markus Ruch (Neunkirch, Schaffhausen)

There’s no easy way to shake things up in conservative rural Switzerland. Take the wine business, for example, and the plight of Markus Ruch. Some nonplussed locals have asked how a newcomer has the nerve to charge more for his wine than do legacy wineries. Other local skeptics want to know why he plumps for biodynamics when conventional agriculture works just fine. Still others wonder why he does women’s work by […]

Profile: La Maison du Moulin (Coinsins, La Côte, Vaud)

It’s three weeks into the new year and the weather is already historic—the coldest January in 30 years—and on this day it’s even colder with bone-numbing winds. Fortunately the family car is equipped with new snow tires, 4-wheel drive and GPS. All three are necessary with La Bise Noire in full fury and snow drifts obliterating […]

Profile: Cru de l’Hôpital (Môtier, Fribourg)

The angelic mien and soft-spoken pitch of Christian Vessaz, winemaker and director of Cru de l’Hôpital in the village of Môtier, does not fully assuage a gut feeling I have that beneath the reserve are two frantically paddling feet—a not inappropriate image in this lakes region of the Swiss plateau. It also happens to be […]

Profile: Weingut Familie Hansruedi Adank (Fläsch, Graubünden)

I don’t usually quibble with subjective “Best Of” lists but I’ve got to argue with this one. To omit the Adanks is something of a glaring oversight. If this was the 25 or 50 Best Vignerons in Switzerland list, then fine. But surely they are among the Top 100. Especially when some of the names […]

Profile: Weingut Donatsch (Malans, Graubünden)

Back in the day when a young musician/vintner named Thomas Donatsch introduced oak barrels and chardonnay grapes to the cellars of Bündner Herrschaft he was considered a pariah. Nowadays, in the vernacular of the tech world, he would be celebrated as a disrupter. Such was the opprobrium he endured that fines and official censure followed. […]

Profile: Domaine de la Maison Carrée (Auvernier, Neuchâtel)

The Philosophy There is a very special quiet to a traditional wine village at rest. No people, no sounds, no stress and only meters from a past season’s slumbering wine. For me, it’s the perfect preparation for tasting. I call it calibrating the senses—listening carefully for the nuances of silence; focusing my eyesight on the […]