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 fiddle to Riesling. Gewürztraminer was an afterthought and continues to flail close […]

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 […]

Calamin 2016: A Comprehensive Tasting

Despite its recent elevation to the ranks of Grand Cru, Calamin still has a lot to prove. At sixteen hectares it doesn’t yield much wine and among forty-four producers a lot of that is variable. It’s no wonder Calamin is the least understood of all of the Chasselas crus. Calamin has been described as “more robust, […]

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 some […]