Switzerland's vineyards hide in plain sight. It seems impossible that tourists driving around the compact country wouldn't notice the thousands upon thousands of green vines planted neatly across rows of stone terraces, yet Swiss winemakers report exactly that.
It sometimes surprises visitors that Switzerland produces wine at all. Swiss wine is produced in luxuriously small quantities, and just 2% of the wine is exported–most is consumed in-country by the Swiss and lucky holiday-makers. For visitors to the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, another surprise awaits: complex, versatile wines–including a white Merlot– perfectly suited to the hearty Italian-influenced foods of this mountainous region.
The best wine lists have a few things in common. They’re put together by sommeliers with real passion; they feature quality wines from great producers in top regions; they have rare vintages or special bottles that customers won’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for that point of difference to make your wine list unique, look no further than Switzerland.
There’s more to Switzerland than watches, cuckoo clocks and chocolate… Discover world-class wines with a unique alpine character.
"It had been some time since I had tasted many Swiss wines, and I was truly excited by much of what I saw" - Jancis Robinson
The only relevant red grape variety planted in almost every canton, no matter if French-, Italian- or German-speaking, is Pinot Noir or Blauburgunder as it is called in the eastern, German-speaking part of Switzerland.
Lange Jahre war für uns Kinder der jährliche Familienurlaub in der Schweiz eine mäßig spannende Veranstaltung. In einer Zeit, in der Tennis noch boomte, standen wir morgens auf dem Court, am Nachmittag wanderte die Familie und ein, aus Kinder- und Teenagersicht, steifes Dîner war die Abendunterhaltung. Bis zu dem Zeitpunkt, an dem ich begann mit Hilfe der Weinkarte die Schweiz zu erkunden…
The foreign ministry has teamed up with the Society of Swiss Wine Exporters to encourage the serving of Swiss wine at embassy functions, as part of a new policy to promote the drink abroad.
Diplomats will be able to order from a wide selection of labels from all of Switzerland’s wine regions, with the ministry footing the bill in advance.
Swiss wines have generated polite interest abroad over the years, but high costs and poor marketing have kept them off the international market. This might be about to change due to a glowing review in the influential Robert Parker Wine Advocate.
This is not the first time that Swiss wine has received the plaudits of internationally renowned critics. But as prominent expert Hugh Johnson pointed out 30 years ago, the evidence of its quality rarely gets beyond Swiss frontiers since most of it is consumed at origin.
For a successful pairing between wines and dishes, it is best to combine similar aromatic nuances. But we should bear in mind that a vintage is less flexible than a dish, where you can always add an ingredient to get the perfect balance.