Just in case you have nothing planned for four out of the next six weekends, the majority of wine producers throughout Switzerland are throwing open their doors for the annual ‘Caves Ouvertes’ season. If you have enough stamina, inclination and spare time, you can embark on a wine tour round Switzerland and visit literally hundreds of wine cellars to sample the best Swiss wines on offer.
Alternatively, you could stay close to home in the Suisse Romande or go farther afield to discover the Italian or German-speaking wine regions. The Valais and Vaud regions have a certain advantage as their events coincide with the long holiday weekends of Ascension and Whitsun in late May.
Your ticket to endless wine enjoyment is a souvenir glass sold by each region. It is up to you how many times and in how many places you have it refilled. To make your journey from village to village as easy as possible, several regions organize free shuttles and, in some cases, discounted rail travel to different parts. There is usually a tasty selection of local food products on show, not to mention live music and activities for children.
With so many producers to visit, the challenge is to know which ones to choose. For each region, it is worth highlighting a few whose wines definitely merit a detour. To help you get the most out of the day, it is worth checking the key information on the various regional websites shown below.
Bon voyage et bonne dégustation!
Suisse Alémanique / 1, 3, 4 May
– Weingut Pircher, 8193 Eglisau
– Peter Wegelin, 7208 Malans
– VOLG Weinkellerei Goldenberg, 8400 Winterthur
– Weinkellerei Rahm, 8215 Hallau
Lac de Bienne (Région des Trois-Lacs) / 1, 3, 4 May
– Andreywein, 2513 Ligerz / Gléresse
Neuchâtel (Région des Trois-Lacs) / 2-3 May
– Château d’Auvernier, 2010 Auvernier
– Domaine des Lauriers, 2088 Cressier
Genève / 24 May
– Clos des Pins, 1283 Dardagny
– Domaine des Curiades, Lully, 1233 Bernex
– Domaine Villard & Fils, 1247 Asnières
Ticino / 24-25 May
– Brivio Vini & Gialdi Vini, 6850 Mendrisio
– Daniel Huber, 6998 Termine
– Azienda Mondò, 6514 Sementina
Valais / 29-31 May
– Benoît Dorsaz, 1926 Fully
– Simon Maye et Fils, 1955 Saint-Pierre-de-Clages
– Domaine Cornulus, 1965 Ormône (Savièse)
– Domaines Rouvinez, 3960 Sierre
Vully (Région des Trois-Lacs) / 6-8 June
– Cru de l’Hôpital, 1787 Môtier-Vully
– Javet & Javet, 1789 Lugnorre
Vaud / 7-8 June
– Les Frères Dutruy, 1297 Founex
– Domaine du Daley, 1095 Lutry
– Château d’Eclépens, 1312 Eclépens
– Caves des Rois, 1844 Villeneuve
Simon Hardy holds a Diploma in Wines & Spirits. He is the founder of Fitting Wines, which provides a range of personalised wine services in Switzerland. For more information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.