May is Swiss Wine Marathon month as the country’s wine producers throw open their doors in unison to welcome you for the annual season of Caves Ouvertes. You may already have been enjoying the wines and the hospitality in the Valais, Neuchâtel and the German-speaking cantons where the Caves Ouvertes have already taken place. This weekend is the turn of canton Vaud where the Caves Ouvertes coincide nicely with the long Pentecost holiday weekend.
If you have enough stamina, inclination and spare time you could visit hundreds of wine cellars to sample the best that Vaudois wines have to offer. Your ticket to endless wine enjoyment is a souvenir glass to commemorate the occasion, which acts as your ‘passport’ wherever you go. It costs just CHF 15 and it is up to you how many times and in how many places you have it refilled. There is usually a tasty selection of local food products on show, not to mention live music and activities for children. To make your journey as easy as possible free shuttles are running to the various villages from the main railway stations.
With so many producers to visit, the challenge is to know which ones to choose. Therefore I have highlighted by sub-region a few estates whose wines definitely merit a detour. To help you get the most out of the weekend it is worth checking the key information online.
– Les Frères Dutruy, Grand-Rue 18, 1297 Founex
– Domaine La Colombe (Raymond Paccot), Route du Monastère 1, 1173 Féchy
Côtes de l’Orbe:
– Château d’Eclépens (François de Coulon), Château d’Eclépens, 1312 Eclépens
– Caves des Rois (Marco & François Grognuz), Vers-chez-les-Rois, 1844 Villeneuve
– Anne Müller Le Vin, Les Maisons Neuves 15, 1853 Yvorne
– Domaine Chervet, Ruelle des Gerles 6, 1788 Praz
Finally, just in case you have nothing planned for the last weekend in May, you also have the opportunity to discover the wineries of cantons Geneva (30th only) and Ticino (30th & 31st) where the Caves Ouvertes season comes to a close.
Bon voyage and bonne dégustation!
By Simon Hardy
Simon Hardy holds the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits. He is the founder of Fitting Wines, which provides a range of personalised wine services in Switzerland. Feel free to contact him via his website for more information.