Swiss Grapes — The Twins: Gamaret & Garanoir

Whenever I think of Gamaret, I invariably think of its less assertive twin, Garanoir. And whenever my mind thinks in pairs like that, it invariably settles on the Silva sisters, Sheila and Sonja. The dreaded sisters were among my most formidable childhood antagonists and the first set of twins to enter my consciousness as classmates […]

The Last Man Standing — Domaine de Mucelle

It’s not everyday that a two hundred year old international treaty is invoked to settle modern customs and cross-border taxation issues, but France and Switzerland, or more specifically the Republic of Geneva, can break out The Treaty of Paris every now and then as an example. Article One, Section Three of the 1815 Treaty — […]

Profile: Domaine Dugerdil, Dardagny, Geneva

From the top of the slope in Dardagny (see header photo) there is so much to see. There are the undulating vineyards, of course, and the sleeping-cat form of Mont Salève in the distance. Close by is a mystical place of geological importance — the end of the Jura and the beginning of the Alps. […]

Swiss Grapes — Grosse Arvine: One Man’s Mission

If you’ve ever entertained thoughts of resuscitating a barely breathing grape variety you may want to give Olivier Pittet a call. He’s a fine young man and a terrific winemaker who, in his spare time, lays it all on the line for a little known cultivar that may never be commercially viable. He will no […]

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. I need more. Buried in there somewhere is the observation that a focused photograph and a flawless wine both require technical proficiency to execute, but, without more, may fail to […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Wine of Note: Domaine du Clos des Pins (Dardagny, Geneva)

Gamaret, Mandragore 2013, Domaine du Clos des Pins, Dardagny, Geneva I was introduced to this wine by the sommelier at Le Philanthrope, an excellent new restaurant near Plainpalais in Geneva, as a potential match for a course of raw milk cheese. I hesitated for two reasons: I prefer white wine with cheese and I’m not the […]

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: 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 […]