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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

An Homage to Chasselas (and Indirectly to Roast Chicken)

Hang around Switzerland long enough and you’ll eventually grapple with the Chasselas riddle: Why is this famously ordinary table grape—and the famously neutral wine that comes from it—given star billing in Swiss vineyards and held in such high regard by its proponents? After living with Chasselas for a while, I can offer some clues. Chasselas is […]