10 things to know about Swiss Wine

1. In Switzerland there is a proverb: Swiss wines quality is the best kept secret in the country, and Swiss people are quite secretive people...

2. The E.I.G (Ecole d’ingénieurs de Changins) is famous for being one of the most prestigious  school of oenology in the world, with a very high level and number of scientific publications. Swiss winemakers are therefore some of the most skillfull winemakers in the world. But keep it for you or Swiss wines prices might even increase a bit more !

3. The association « Mémoire des vins suisses » is a great foundation. They handle the safe keeping of most precious Swiss wine bottles. Based in Zurich, they started the adventure in 2002 and are now dealing with 50 great wine producers, such as the “Syrah vieilles vignes” of Simon Maye et Fils - A MUST HAVE in your cellar.

4. "In Switzerland you can find the most expensive bad wines in the world, but you will also find the cheapest great wines in the world !". A Swiss well-known proverb.

5. Swiss wine production falls into 6 regions: Swiss-German part of Switzerland, Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, The three Lakes area, Valais and Ticino. The Swiss-German part of the country mainly produces white wines, but also some great Pinot Noir.

By the way wines from Daniel & Matha Gantenbein are some of the best you could ever taste, go for it, if you can afford it!

  • Geneva is known for Gamaret and Garanoir red blend,
  • Vaud is known for the Lavaux Terroir,
  • Valais is known for Petite Arvine and Shiraz,
  • Ticino produces marvelous merlot and some of them even outperformed the world famous Petrus in blind tastings...

6. There are 15 000 hectares of vineyards all over the country, third of the production comes from Valais.

7. Two main grape varieties are Pinot Noir (Graubunder) and Chasselas (Gutedel). They account for respectively 30% and 27% of the national production.

8. Ninety different grapes varieties are cultivated on 1 hectare or more in Switzerland. At the crossroad between France, Germany and Italy, Swiss wines offer an amazing variety of wine styles and wine areas.

9. In Valais and more specifically in the Val d’Anniviers (Grimentz – 1200 meters high) a cherry styled wine called “Vins des glaciers” is produced. It is made according to the “transvasage” method. A method consisting in adding the most recent wine every year in the barrel, and taking out the same quantity to be bottled. Thus the wine remains the same years after years.

Meaning for you: You'll get some 100 year old drops of wine in your glass!

 10. The Swiss production is consumed at 98% in Switzerland and only 2% is exported, mainly in Germany. One of the main reason why Swiss wines are not well known by wine connoisseurs outside from Switzerland. On the other hand this explains why Swiss greatest wines remain affordable compared with some overpriced Grands Crus.



Frédéric Chenevard

This month's wine selection

Local grapes of Rioja raised with quality & care

Saving native grapes of Rioja

  • Genoli-Viura, Vina Ijalba, 2017
  • Graciano, Vina Ijalba, 2016
  • Maturana Tinta, Vina Ijalba, 2016

From 39 CHF /Month