Have you tried Swiss wine yet?
Swiss wine has been produced for 2000 years, since the Roman Era! (200 BC – AD 400). With 150 km2 of vineyards and six wine growing regions (pretty impressive considering Switzerland`s relatively small size and its geography), nearly 1000 hectoliter of Swiss wine is being produced each year.
Therefore, it is not a surprise that Swiss wine is part of the social, cultural and culinary habits of the country and Switzerland is in the Top 10 of per capta consumption of wine with its 33 liter / year.
What is the reason then that the Swiss wine is not well-known and popular like the product of other countries? Well, the answer is simple. 98% of the wine is consumed within the country and only 2% is exported, mainly to Germany.
Autumn is a special time for wine makers. It is the time of the harvest and to celebrate their hard work and products. Therefore, there are plenty of events and programs happening all around Switzerland to honor the Swiss wine. Let me share couple of them with you.
La Fête des vendanges, or the Harvest Festival is far the biggest event of the year of Three lakes wine growing area. It is so big, that when I was about to move to the region and came for a house hunting trip in a foggy day in March, the first advise I have received was not to miss this celebration!
For a long weekend at the end of September, the wine makers build their stands in the old town of Neuchâtel, so you can walk around and taste their delicious Swiss wine.
The event is enriched with food trucks, music playing in several stages, marching bands and parades, as well as different programs and competitions for small ones and grownups.
Surprisingly, the Fête du Vignoble (Wine Festival) in the Geneva wine growing area does not take place in the autumn, but in the summer, during a weekend at the end of July.
More than 50 cellars are opening their doors to the public present their Swiss wine. These two days of celebration also offer the opportunity to take a wonderful hike through the Geneva countryside, going from one village to the next to learn about or re-discover the different villages, each with its own character.
You can participate by purchasing a “Pass” for the event, what contains a wine glass and unlimited attempts to taste Swiss wine in the participating wineries during the weekend.
There are also shuttle buses circulating around the area. They can be very crowded though. My personal advice is to walk around these beautiful neighborhoods.
Open doors at wine cellars
A similar event takes place in the Vaud wine growing region as well. The Cave Ouvert or The Vaud Open Cellars take place at the beginning in September. Similar to Geneva, by buying the pass you can wander around and taste Swiss wine and local products of artisan bakers and pastry chefs during the weekend.
Thanks to its mild weather, Ticino is the perfect location for a varied range of outdoor festivals, like the Sagra del Borgo. At the end of September, Mendrisio turns into a veritable playground for those who love Swiss wine and great food. The old town is filled with pop-up restaurants, serving classics such as polenta, risotto and roasted meats, while the streets are packed with stalls selling homemade goods, handicrafts and, of course, Swiss wine. After dark, the town’s main square is the place to be for live music and dancing.
In the German speaking wine growing area, more specifically in Blauburgunderland, there’s no reason to mourn the passing of summer. Early September to mid-October is the time of fall festivals. Every weekend, villages outdo each other with flower decorations, street cuisine, music, local specialties, Swiss wine and creatively designed exhibitions.
VINEA Le Salon has been THE event for wine lovers for many years in the Valais wine growing area. It offers an opportunity to improve your wine knowledge and to get to know the rich diversity that is a hallmark of Swiss wine. Their culinary specialties and Swiss wines combine to help you make some beautiful discoveries and to share the pleasure and emotion.
So, why not to take a break and taste some delicious Swiss wine while discovering the country? My advice if you have to pick only one is to taste magie noir.
What is your favorite Swiss wine? Let me know via +JWZioyZuJmfmYydnYCInYqRnZabndabl5U@nospam!
Wishing a week full of fun and adventure!
Maybe you'd be interested to read my other blogs about Swiss travel experiences?
Swiss wine has been produced for 2000 years, since the Roman Era! (200 BC – AD 400).
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