Switzerland produces very high-quality wines, despite the relatively small volume of production. The mountainous terrain, diverse microclimates, and suitable soil contribute to the distinctive characteristics of Swiss wines.
White wine dominates Swiss wine production, especially wine made from the Chasselas grape variety (known in the Valais region also under the local name Fendant), which originates from Switzerland. Chasselas wines are known for their delicate aroma, light body, and fresh acidity. They are typically consumed young and paired with traditional Swiss cuisine.
The most significant red wine variety is Pinot Noir, which is widely grown in all Swiss wine regions. You may also come across the rare red wine variety Cornalin, which comes from the Valais region.
Swiss winegrowers also cultivate some lesser-known grape varieties. They include, for example:
- Petite Arvine: a white wine from the Valais region, with high acidity and a distinct grapefruit and rhubarb aroma.
- Amigne: another white wine from the Valais region, often used to produce sweet wines with a rich honey flavor.
- Humagne Rouge: a red wine from this variety is known for its tannins with a cherry and earthy flavor.
- Gamaret and Garanoir: two red varieties that were bred in Switzerland in the 20th century. They are often blended together to balance the structure and tannins of the Gamaret variety with the fruitiness of the Garanoir variety.
Swiss wines are indeed high-quality, but due to the small quantity of production and high domestic demand, they are not exported much. Therefore, they are hard to come by outside of Switzerland. I had the opportunity during my short stay to taste a white wine from Chasselas grapes, which according to the Vivino server is ranked among the 25 best Swiss wines made from this variety. The bottle cost 9 CHF, which is approximately the same amount in EUR. It was excellent!
Enjoy Swiss wine and drink responsibly!