On the south side of the Alps, the Italian-speaking Ticino enjoys a sunny climate that is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea. The Monte Ceneri divides Ticino into two zones: the Sopraceneri (Bellinzona) in the north, where one can still see vines growing on pergolas, and the Sottoceneri (Lugano) in the south. Traditionally, Ticino's vineyards are scattered in small parcels, and winegrowers generally vinify their harvests together, in order to guarantee the requested quality standards.
Almost 90% of the vineyards in Ticino are planted with Merlot, which can truly be a rival to the red wines from the Bordeaux region, when it enjoys a favourable situation and is well vinified. The Merlot Bianco, an elegant white wine that is gaining in popularity, also comes from this same grape variety.
The Merlot, originally from the Bordeaux region, made itself at home in Ticino, where it now produces distinguished wines. The climate's mildness and the well-exposed sunny slopes offer the best conditions to produce exceptional wines.
The canton of Ticino is located still quite far from the sea, but its climate is nevertheless greatly influenced by the Mediterranean, which thus distinguishes it greatly from the other regions of Switzerland. The impressive number of sunshine hours and the high average temperatures favour the good maturing of the grapes. The plentiful rainfall, although they can be a blessing, may also bring dangerous hailstorms.