Have you ever seen Swiss wines on shelves in your local super markets or wine stores? Does that mean that Swiss wines are not good?
The answer to both of these questions is a negative one. Their wines are wonderful, especially the white’s and the rose’s. They simply do not export them as they are locally consumed, and we probably contribute a percentage fraction of that Swiss manufactures 1.1 hl a year, split 50/50 between red and whites and only 2% of the wines are exported (mainly to Germany). The main grape varieties are Pinot Noir (30%), Chasselas (27%), Gamay (10%) and Merlot (7%). In Vaud, the county we live in, there are more than 300 wine cellars and once a year they open up their doors and invite people to taste their annual produce and sample previous years production.
On the 23rd my parents and sister were visiting and I thought it was perfect to take them to few cellars in the area, so around lunch time we headed out to Mont Sur-Rolle for a taste. Once we found the first cellar, we paid the entry fee, which is in the form of a wine glass, a glass holder which goes around your neck and a wine passport. The cost was a meager 15 CHF per person, which is extremely cheap as you get to sample bread, local meats, cheeses and other local produce as well as much wine as you can possibly drink.
At the first place we visited, Chateau De Chatagnereaz, entered a cellar full of massive oak barrels and sampled directly from them. We first tried their 2014 production of Chasselas which was fairly refreshing, but naturally needs a bit of time. We also sampled their 2013 and 2012 production which was pretty good and after three glasses of wine everyone were already warming up and I was cursing myself for taking the car The weather was fairly windy but sun was shining and nothing wrong with the weather per say, plus everyone was in stellar mood (after a great start to the tasting).
Next up was Domaine de Belletruche, where we sampled their 2014 production which was already bottled. Again fairly simple wine, but we did not really mind as we were just taking in the atmosphere which was great, the owners had pulled the barbecue out and were treating guests with massive bratwursts to go with the wine. The owners invited us into their cellar which had the most amazing tasting facility I’ve ever seen, no glass walls, fine dining tables or modern setting. The owners had opened up one of their old barrels and built benches into them, what an amazing idea and of course we used this opportunity to take few photos
Only 298 cellars to go …
This time we ended up in Fechy where we tried out the local whites, including a wonderful Muscat. Couple of glasses later, we followed the local wine train to Kursner, a wonderful wine cellar with an amazing sparkling Rose which we ended up buying two cases of. At that point and with 296 cellars to go … we decided to call it a day and return strong for next year. I believe my parents wanted to make a tradition out of this, so I look forward to host them for the Open Cellar Weekend 2016 in Vaud.
Anyone else interested?