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, […]

Are the Swiss Ready for the Pét-Nat Invasion?

Of all the recent wine trends to arrive in Switzerland, the pét-nat vogue may be the first to fizzle out. It’s not because the Swiss don’t like bubbles — they do, Switzerland is an important market for Champagne — but fads and frivolities are never an easy sell here. To the high-roller banker-types — loyal […]

Swiss Grapes: Sauvignon Soyhières

There’s a slight claustrophobic ends-of-the-earth vibe to the Jurassian village of Soyhières (Pop. 433). It has the plain vanilla look of 1950’s Swiss functionality with a lingering undercurrent of separatism and a patois (Vâdais) all its own. The village itself offers none of the postcard images one expects from rural Switzerland but the seasonal pastures and […]

The Last Man Standing — Domaine de Mucelle

It’s not everyday that a two hundred year old international treaty is invoked to settle modern customs and cross-border taxation issues, but France and Switzerland, or more specifically the Republic of Geneva, can break out The Treaty of Paris every now and then as an example. Article One, Section Three of the 1815 Treaty — […]

A Wine of Note: Domaine des Faverges, St-Saphorin, Vaud

2017 Chasselas, L’Énigme, Domaine des Faverges (St-Saphorin, Vaud) One of my favorite pastimes when researching a wine region is digging into the side stories — the whys and hows. For example, after tasting this wine and knowing nothing of the winery’s history, I wondered how the canton of Fribourg came to own property in the […]

Swiss Grapes: Grosse Arvine — One Man’s Mission

If you’ve ever entertained thoughts of resuscitating a barely breathing grape variety you may want to give Olivier Pittet a call. He’s a fine young man and a terrific winemaker who, in his spare time, lays it all on the line for a little known cultivar that may never be commercially viable. He will no […]

Les Trésors du Vin Suisse — Basel 2019

The Trésors tasting and its sister — the more inclusive Mémoire & Friends tasting — are my favorite events on the Swiss wine calendar. Both events reside under the Mémoire des Vins Suisses (MDVS) umbrella — a marketing-related non-profit founded and nurtured by a group of wine-loving journalists, producers and enthusiasts. Both tasting events, and the parties […]

Jungewinzer Im Rampenlicht — Young Swiss Winemakers in the Spotlight

Junge Schweiz Neue Winzer is a professional association of young (and new) Swiss winemakers dedicated to the free exchange of ideas and shared experiences. It also serves as support group (because change is never easy), promotional arm and globally-attuned tasting panel. While real change is often slow to take hold in Switzerland, it can be hastened […]