Maybe, like us a few years ago, you never thought of Switzerland as a country where good wine comes from. * True, in competition with Italian, French or Spanish wines, bottles of Swiss wine huddle on the shelves of Europeꞌs supermarkets like a poor relative. But don’t be fooled. In Switzerland, vines have been grown since the Roman Empire. And why don’t you often find local wine outside Switzerland? The Swiss keep their wine production to themselves and most of them drink at home, I mean, in Switzerland, obviously.
(* By the way, did you know that the Müller Thurgau variety intended for the production of white wines was bred by Prof. Hermann Müller and named after himself and also after the canton where he came from, Thurgau? You are welcome).
Swiss wine regions
The Swiss wine industry is divided into six regions – Valais (33% of Swiss production), Vaud (25%), German Switzerland (19%), Geneva (10%), Ticino (9%), and Trois Lacs/Three Lakes (5%). Each area and sub-area has an identity defined by the nature of the landscape, geology, and specific climate. Some vineyards, such as those in the Valais area are also located at 1,100 m above sea level. and Switzerland is thus one of the producers of wine in cold climates.
The four most cultivated varieties are Pinot Noir, Chasselas (original), Gamay and Merlot, representing 72% of the harvest. **
Vine themed trails in western Switzerland
Hiking the Lavaux vineyard terraces
A very pleasant walk through the vineyards above Lake Geneva (Vaud wine region) from Lutry to Cully is about 4.5 km long. It is doable with a stroller (if you follow the official routes and do not take it shortcuts through vineyards like us).
Rebenlehrpfad – Vine nature trail at Lake Biel
The 4-kilometer-long loop trail begins and ends in the village of Twann on the shores of Lake Biel. So in the Trois Lacs/Three lakes wine region. Most of the trail is lined with dry stone walls, which give the hilly landscape above Lake Biel a characteristic character. On the information boards, you will learn interesting information about wine and viticulture at Lake Biel. The route is doable with a stroller (when you at the start of the trail don’t take the staircase to the lookout point, but you will walk along the road).
Vully vineyards at Lake Murten
In the village of Sugiez begins the 5 km long “Chemin de La Riviera” – one of the three vine nature trails on the shores of Lake Murten. The vine trail leads you through the vineyards above the villages of Nant and Praz to Môtier. Information boards together with the children’s mascot Viny inform you about the history of viticulture, varieties of vines grown here and also about the work that needs to be done in the vineyard and in the winery. Wehiked part of the route, then turned to the top of Mt. Vully and then we rejoined the vine trail. The “Chemin de la Riviera” trail is doable with a stroller.
Do you know any other vine theme trail? Share in the comments!
Seldon, Philip: The Complete Idiotꞌs Guide to Wine, PRAGMA, Praha 1996