The wine tasting season is approaching in Vaud, the Swiss canton stretching around the shores of Lake Geneva.
With its six distinctive wine growing regions and eight appellations, Vaud is Switzerland’s second largest wine producing region. Little known outside of Switzerland, Vaud’s wines, produced from Chasselas, Pinot Noir and Gamay, are so popular with the locals, there is little left to share with the outside world. The only way to experience them is to visit.
The region is blessed with all of the natural ingredients required to produce great wine. The grapes growing on the steep slopes of the UNESCO-listed Lavaux are said to receive a the sun three times, once from the sky, once reflected off the lake and again from the warmth stored in the stone walls of the terraces, built by deft local hands stretching back through the centuries.
The region’s most widely grown grape variety is Chasselas, which produces a light slightly effervescent white wine that pairs perfectly with locally produced cheeses, such as Etivaz and Vacherin Mont-d’Or – yes Vaud has award winning cheeses too!
In addition to great wine, the scenery and relaxed atmosphere is a delight. In some regions wine tasting can be done on foot. Specially created routes take you through the vines and past local wine cellars. A phone app has been created to guide you along these walks. Wine makers on the routes welcome visitors and can be contacted via the app.
Every June Vaud hosts the event Caves Ouvertes (Open Cellars) when more than 300 local wine makers throw open the doors of their cellars and welcome wine enthusiasts to taste their wines. The event runs over the weekend from 8 to 9 June 2019. Visitors pay CHF 24 for a glass which acts a ticket to unlimited tasting. The glasses are different every year – time stamped souvenirs of the wine vintages that flow through them.
On top of Caves Ouvertes and vineyard walks, Vaud’s wine menu also includes visits to wine makers in La Côte region, an area centred on the town of Morges.
The video below presents the “Domaine Henri Cruchon”, one of the winemakers that can be visited in the La Côte region.
The Cruchon family grows twenty different grape varieties on more than one hundred parcels of land, each with its own distinct terroir, microclimate and character. More than half the grapes are organic. Catherine, interviewed in the video above, is the third generation of Cruchons to make wine in the region. She started helping her father with the wine harvest at the age of eight.
Dates: 8 to 9 June 2019.
Website: click here
Price: CHF 24 glass for unlimited tasting at more than 300 cellars.
Visiting La Côte winemakers:
Times: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 8pm. No appointment necessary.
List of winemakers: click here.
Price: Each winemaker offers the chance to taste six wines for CHF 15. If after tasting you decide to purchase six bottles the wine tasting will be free.
Other wine and food adventures:
Here you’ll find a selection of gourmet walking tours, guided cellar visits, brewery and cheese tours.
Website: click here.