Three years ago, I discovered the secretive wines of Switzerland. After traveling around the western French cantons of the country, I returned back to New York City, thrilled to share these wines with my sommelier friends. There was only one problem: None of the wines were exported to the United States.
The best part about visiting the Lake Geneva wine region is that distances are short – from Nyon to Aigle it’s barely 100 kilometres, or one hour speeding along the motorway or using the excellent train service…
How to get there and how to get around
By car, train or plane to Geneva.
The vineyards start just outside the city and end at Bex, about 1.5 hours along the lake.
Welcome to the 4th edition of the Gourmet Rally through Geneva's wine region!
The idea: participants walk about 8 km along a relatively easy trail to meet wine producers and sample their wines paired with food prepared by local artisans. A perfect way to discover the beautiful Geneva countryside!
Joseph-Samuel Farinet was a wanted criminal – but to the residents of Valais, he is a hero.
Wine isn't what Switzerland is famous for, but that doesn't mean it can't make a good quality bottle or two. While it is made all over the country, most of the wine making takes place in the French speaking cantons but intriguingly, most of Switzerland's wine that is exported, a tiny percentage goes to Germany.
Rare wines from revitalized, historic grapes are putting Switzerland on the wine lover’s map
Swiss wines are nearly impossible to find outside of the country, as they make up less than 1% of global production. Only 1.5% is exported, because the natives — who rank in the top ten in per capita consumption — drink the rest, and still have to import more than double that amount from other countries.
Due to its location south of the Alps, Ticino represents a world in its own right. A microcosm, with its own language and personality, strongly characterized by alpine and Mediterranean influences, a nostalgic place for many visitors from the north. It is here that idyllic postcard landscapes and so-called "sunny lounges" blend with what is a peripheral and economically disadvantaged region. A region from which, just a century ago, many were still forced to emigrate and where grapes and wine were always part of the daily grace.
Swiss wines don't get much exposure in the UK, though they certainly deserve to based on their quality. Thanks in large part to our Wine Grapes co-author José Vouillamoz, I have tasted more Swiss wines in the last few years than in the previous decade.
Swiss wine is one of Switzerland’s best-kept secrets, since it’s not widely known internationally as a wine-producing country. As vineyards throw open their doors to visitors in ‘open cellars’ season, The Local raises a glass to the Swiss wine industry.
1. Grapes have been grown in Switzerland since Roman times.