In true Swiss style, Switzerland’s wines are high quality and very highly priced!
Made to exacting standards, hand-picked grapes and also due to the high cost of living itself in Switzerland, all contribute to the vast production costs.
The Swiss love their own wines, and demand far outstrips production.
Importing of foreign wines is also limited by law thus promoting their own wines. However, this is now starting to open up so a small percentage of Swiss wines are now being exported to balance this out. But, unfortunately (due to the reasons I mentioned before), their prices are very high relative to the common market so are not hugely popular. This is a shame.
There are a huge variety of styles of wine produced in Switzerland. This is mainly due to many International grape varieties and regional speciality grapes growing alongside eachother.
Also, there are a vast array of vineyard sites which affect the wine’s style (‘terroir’ concept). For example, some are steep vineyards that are so steep that they need rails to transport the grapes up the side! Then there are other vineyard sites below mountains and others next to spectacular, vast lakes which reflect the sunlight onto the vines to assist ripening. So you can imagine the many different styles of wine that are produced!
Switzerland is landlocked geographically, between France, Germany and Italy. Each bordering area speaks that particular language e.g. next to France they speak French and so on.
Also, their vineyards reflect this association by the grapes which they grow, for example in the region (called a ‘canton’) that neighbours Germany, they grow the speciality German grape Müller-Thürgau.
Even though Swiss wines are highly priced, please do try them if you get the opportunity. Not only do they have their own unique style and incredible quality, but many inspired winemakers are also experimenting and gaining reputations for discerning wines made from International grape varieties which cannot be made that way elsewhere in the world. They have their own distinctive expressions.
- Neutral, un-oaked mineral flavoured whites
- Light, strawberry jam flavoured reds to velvety blackberry ones
- Chasselas (most widely grown)
- Müller-Thürgau (whites)
- Pinot Noir
- Other Regional varieties
- Dôle (blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay)
- Oeil-de Perdrix (Pinot Noir)
- Gialdi (Merlot)
- Chasselas, particularly from the French canton (area)
- Vin de Glacier (Sherry like and a very rare wine)
- Calamin and Dezaley area crus e.g. Clos de Abbayes and Clos des Moines. These are specially designated areas of the Chasselas grape and are of incredible quality but are very, very, expensive!