Swiss wine – maybe, no longer such a hidden gem…
To most people, Switzerland is more about milk & honey (as in Toblerone) or fancy watches, than it is about wine and even to many a winelover, Swiss wine remains somewhat of a mystery. Something, you may have heard of but never had the chance to come by.
The reason is obvious, as the Swiss consume just about all of their production domestically. Actually, 98-99% is consumed within Switzerland, the brilliant wine writer, Chandra Kurt explained at a master class at the Swiss Embassy in Copenhagen back in June.
For those of us keen on exploring the wines of Switzerland, the good news is, that there is room for increasing the production of approx. 20% with which to actually target foreign markets. And given the high quality of the wines as well as the array of very interesting varieties, I have to say, that I left the event hungry to learn much more.
Swiss consists of 26 cantons in which four different languages are spoken: German, French, italian and Romanche and within these 26 cantons, about 14,700 hectares are planted with wines – not a lot, actually. Around half the acreage of Burgundy or one tenth of Bordeaux.
Although, the Swiss people consume but everything, the vignerons produce, it is no nearly enough for the Swiss market and the Swiss production only covers around 35% of the country’s consumption of wine, which equals some 34 litres per capita annually.