Calling Mr. Natural — A Battle Cry

In his recent essay entitled Are We Entering the Post-Natural Wine Era?, author Jamie Goode attempts to answer one question by asking another: “Where does natural wine finish and conventional wine start?” The implication is that the two sides are now so close in their practices that to distinguish between them is nearly meaningless. There is no doubt, […]

Swiss Grapes: Räuschling — The Acid Queen

Despite an encouraging trend toward greater grapevine diversity, two varieties continue to dominate the Swiss wine landscape. Pinot Noir, of course, is here to stay, because the Swiss, like their German counterparts, fancy themselves the new masters of this sensitive, climate-threatened variety. And the much-maligned Chasselas will always have a home in Suisse Romand, because […]

Swiss Vin Nature: The Regulations Have Arrived

After several years of study and debate, the final regulations for “Vin Nature Swiss-style” have been published. What follows is my English translation of the regulations — officially released only in French and German — so please forgive any errors I may have made. I think it’s pretty clean. Upon a quick examination, the Swiss regulations […]

Eglisau: Vines of the High Rhine

This article first appeared in Trink Magazine  — Issue 2, 14/12/2020 Every guide to Swiss wine begins with the same simple premise: There are six wine regions in Switzerland. That means one of them, Deutschschweiz, is forever miscast as a single entity, even though it encompasses nineteen cantons and covers two-thirds of the nation’s surface area. Meanwhile, […]

Müller-Thurgau: Then and Now

I would argue that the much-maligned cross of Riesling x Silvaner, better known as Müller-Thurgau, is a dual national. There’s no doubt the variety was born in Germany, but what’s not so well known is that it came of age in Switzerland. It was created by a Swiss scientist, Hermann Müller, at Geisenheim in the […]

The Wine Rivers of Switzerland: The Rhine

If the Alps are “The Water Tower of Europe”, as they’re sometimes known, then the Witenwasserenstock, a mountain peak in central Switzerland, is the spigot. Its pointy summit (header photo) is one of the few triple watersheds in Europe and a feeder for the alpine catchments of the Rhine, Rhône and Po basins. There’s more. […]

Are the Swiss Ready for the Pét-Nat Invasion?

Of all the recent wine trends to arrive in Switzerland, the pét-nat vogue may be the first to fizzle out. It’s not because the Swiss don’t like bubbles — they do, Switzerland is an important market for Champagne — but fads and frivolities are never an easy sell here. To the high-roller banker-types — loyal […]