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 […]

Book Review: Cépages Suisses: Histoires et Origines (2017)

Cépages Suisses—Histoires et Origines  by José Vouillamoz  Éditions Favre (2017) When you think about Switzerland and its wine you probably don’t think of the incredible diversity of its vineyards (252 cultivars) or the tiny area that contains them (just under 15,000 hectares—the same as in Alsace). It’s safe to say the sheer volume of diverse […]

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 […]

Mémoire & Friends: Zürich 2017

This year’s Mémoire & Friends tasting relocated to the slightly outré District 5 neighborhood of Zürich—and the Schiffbau event center—from its usual home in the staid lakefront area. The event even adopted the aura of an alternative wine fair because of it. I quite enjoyed it, except for the hot weather and cramped quarters. But […]

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 Rose By Any Other Name: The Confusing State of Grapes in Switzerland

Every time I travel to the States people want to know about Swiss wine. Many will ask without realizing that they already have some near iron-clad mis-information to overcome. One of the most common errors is a simple one: confusing Vaud with Valais, and vice versa. Others are surprised to learn that Riesling is not […]

News: U.S. to Drink More Swiss Wine

While stalking the tables of the most recent Mémoire des Vins Suisses tasting in Zürich I overheard some interesting news. It seems that several prestigious, even iconic, Swiss labels will soon be entering the U.S. market, some for the first time. European Cellars, a prominent American importer headed by Eric Solomon and based in North […]