Switzerland is a unique wine country. Proud of its terroir and the great diversity of its grape varieties. A real treasure to discover.
One of the Cradle of wine
Viticulture was introduced in Switzerland under the Roman Empire, north of the Alps.
And in the Middle Ages, the influence of the Church allowed the vineyards to be maintained and to expand.
In the 17th century, wine became a more popular drink. But Switzerland remains a country with a sometimes capricious climate, and the importation of foreign wines was problematic for the local vineyards. Also, during the 19th century, mildew, oidium and finally phylloxera destroyed a large part of the crops.
In response to this, Switzerland adopted grafting methods and introduced chemical treatments.
But in the 20th century, at a time when mechanization was everywhere, the Swiss winegrowers, aware of the strong international competition and the high local prices, chose to focus on quality production.
They turned to less productive grape varieties and limited yields, for a greater control of quality. And today, the cultures in reasoned and biodynamic agriculture are becoming more and more numerous.
240 different grape varieties
Switzerland cultivates about 240 different grape varieties. More than a third of those grape varieties are indigenous, such as Cornalin, Gamaret or Garanoir.
There are fresh and elegant wines made from Pinot noir, Gamay and Merlot, as well as excellent fendants made from Chasselas (white), and dry and fruity Arvine wines.
Six viticultural regions make up this vineyard: Valais, Canton of Vaud, Geneva, Ticino, the Three Lakes region and German-speaking Switzerland. All of them benefit from microclimates, thanks to the mountainous geography and the numerous lakes.
Extent of the vineyard
Swiss vineyards extend over 14,700 hectares (ha).