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 […]

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 […]

A Wine of Note: Winzerei Zur Metzg

I’m always in awe of a commentator with enough grace and confidence to fairly describe a wine even when it’s not to their taste. It’s tough to do but rewarding when it happens. This inherently generous act alerts others who may find excitement in the eccentricities and beauty in the perceived shortcomings. Consider this to […]

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. […]

Wine with Dinner: Randomly Chosen in April

Thanks! Many of the wines tasted this month were courtesy of François Gauthier, the congenial partner at the excellent wine merchant La Cave de Reverolle, who invited me to their annual spring release tasting in Morges. La Cave de Reverolle is a fantastic source for top-quality French and Italian labels and their Swiss portfolio is […]