Mondeuse: The Ghost of Grapes Past

The landscape of Swiss vineyards offered a more complicated puzzle in 1880 than it does today. Not only did viticulture suffer a massive decline during the decades of phylloxera infestation, it endured a mass migration from north to south and an alarming loss of diversity. First, some statistics. Zürich’s area under vine fell from 5,279 […]

Clos des Gondettes (Satigny, Geneva)

Look at a current political map of Europe and you might notice the outline of a limp handshake (choose your own piece of anatomy) where western Switzerland meets France. It looks limp for a reason. As a one time exclave—entirely surrounded by France and the old Duchy of Savoy—Geneva existed as an on-again, off-again city-state […]

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 […]

A Wine of Note: Domaine de la Vigne Blanche, Cologny, Geneva

Sauvignon Blanc, Réserve de la Commune de Cologny 2016, Domaine de la Vigne Blanche, Geneva Anyone who follows these pages knows that I’m not a fan of sauvignon blanc from Switzerland. It makes no sense to me that Swiss winemakers bother with it when there is so much great sauvignon available from places that specialize […]

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 cheeses. Two things militated against his suggestion: I prefer white wine with cheese and I’m not […]

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 […]

Wine with Dinner: Randomly Chosen in October 2016

Nature is clockwork. Just as the grape harvest wraps up in Switzerland the temperatures drop. Fall is here and it is in the air. By all accounts 2016 looks to be another excellent harvest with fine, dry weather until the tail end of the season when there was quite a bit of rain. By that […]