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 […]

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. […]

Profile: Steiner Schernelz Village (Ligerz, Bern)

The public transport options in Switzerland are many and they’re famously efficient but is there another as quirky as the Vinifuni of Ligerz? Probably. 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 usually […]

Some New Wine from Geneva’s “Monsieur Natural”: Paul-Henri Soler

It’s been awhile since I last visited with Paul-Henri Soler (see: Profile) so I recently caught up with him at his usual Saturday haunt, the Carouge Farmer’s Market in Geneva. Unlike a lot of wine on offer at such venues, Paul-Henri’s are really attention-grabbing and worth exploring. He’s very engaging and encourages impromptu tasting among […]

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 […]

Mémoire des Vins Suisses: Bern 2017

It’s time once again to raid the cellars of generous MDVS members who, each year, invite wine media types, professionals and knowledgeable enthusiasts to taste through a mini-vertical of one of their signature wines. This year’s event was held at the Kursaal Event Center in the lovely capital city of Bern. Kursaal is an impressive meeting space that overlooks the […]

Chardonnay in Switzerland: No Respect

To the casual observer of Swiss wine the primacy of pinot noir among the red varieties suggests that its stablemate, chardonnay, enjoys the same favored status among the whites. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though chardonnay ranks as the fifth most planted variety in the world—almost 200,000 hectares spread among countless winemaking nations—it’s monopolized by […]