A Wine of Note: Domaine Mermetus

2017 Altesse, Une Touche de Fantaisie, Domaine Mermetus (Lavaux, Vaud) Like a lot of orphan grapes, Altesse suffers from some persistent, seemingly unshakeable origin stories. But thanks to modern genetic sleuthing, we can say for sure it’s not from Cyprus—which means it never hitchhiked with Count Amadeus VI on his way home from a 14th-century […]

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 […]

Profile: Weingut Möhr-Niggli (Maienfeld, Graubünden)

Graubünden is Switzerland’s largest and easternmost canton and the only one that trades in three of the national languages—German, Italian and Romansch. Despite its size and eye-popping beauty it’s not a common destination for outsiders except when it’s luxury they seek. The three-star chef Andreas Caminada is ensconced at Schloss Schauenstein and the high-brow resort […]

A Day at the Cooperative–Provins Valais

It’s not sexy, in fact, it’s one of those boring statistics that puts most people to sleep, even if it is true: more than half of all wine made in Italy, France and Spain combined is made in cooperatives. That’s a lot of wine but much of it is dreck destined for distillation, flex-tanks, or […]

Profile: Litwan Wein (Oberhof, Aargau)

The first thing you notice about the wine country in Aargau is what you don’t notice: vineyards. That’s because Aargau, in contrast to the comparably-sized but contiguous vineyards of Bündner-Herrschaft and Klettgau, offers a different proposition—discreet micro-parcels scattered in hidden, often heavily wooded valleys. In other words, rather than monoculture, Aargau offers a diversity of […]

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. […]

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 […]