A Day at the Cooperative–Provins Valais

It’s not sexy, in fact, it’s one of those boring statistics that puts most people to sleep, but it’s true nonetheless: more than half of all wine made in Italy, France and Spain combined is made in cooperatives. That’s a lot of wine but much of it is dreck destined for distillation, flex-tanks, or fancifully-branded […]

Domaine de la Ville de Morges: A Natural Pivot

A wise winemaker/photographer friend given to platitudes offered up the following: A perfectly focused photograph and a flawless wine are of no interest to me without more. Buried in there somewhere is the concession that an in-focus photograph and a flawless wine require some technical proficiency to execute but without more may fail to excite. […]

Vinea On Tour: A Few Stand-Out Wines

The Vinea road-show organizers took pity on me this year and finally staged one of its tastings in my back yard of Geneva. Vinea is a Swiss wine trade organization that sponsors tastings of its member’s wines in various locations throughout the year, culminating in the epic, two-day Grand Prix du Vin Suisse in Sierre. It […]

Les Vignes de Paradis: Chasselas From the Other Side of the Lake

Within minutes of my home in the Geneva suburb of Vésenaz are four vineyards located along the south shore of Lake Geneva. Each is devoted to the iconic Swiss grape Chasselas, but not one is located in Switzerland. What gives? The four—Crépy, Marignan, Marin and Ripaille—are crus in the neighboring French département of Haute-Savoie. Each […]

Domaine La Colombe: Pinot Gris “La Colombe Grise” Retrospective — 2015-2006

Back in the formative years of my professional career Pinot Gris was a life-jacketed castaway clinging to a barrel stave in the vast sea of wine. Its most significant presence was in Alsace but even there it was treading water and a second thought to Riesling with Gewürztraminer flailing close behind. Sure it was planted […]

Three from Geneva: A Contrast in Styles

When the Three Bears of porridge fame attend a wine tasting their scribbled notes might read something like this: Chasselas number one is too light; Chasselas number two is too heavy; but Chasselas number three—ahhh, that one’s just right. After my recent trip to the Vinumrarum event in Bern, I can relate. Among the numerous family […]