DISCOVER THE VARIED WINE GROWING REGIONS OF SWITZERLAND, NORTHERN ITALY AND EASTERN FRANCE
Europe’s viticulture tradition is renowned around the world, but very little is known about Swiss wine, despite it being a major part of the agricultural economy, and a way of life. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that less than 1% of Swiss wine ever leaves the country, as the people are very patriotic about their consumption, preferring their local varietals to those from their neighboring countries, and even other cantons in Switzerland.
Traversing the Lavaux wine-growing region along the northern shore of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva), and you’ll soon see why it was dedicated a UNESCO heritage site, for its 1000 year-old vineyards inconceivably stacked from the lake shore to the mountains. Or along the Swiss Rhône Valley, home to the densest concentration of viticulture in this tiny alpine nation, a micro climate thriving in the shadow 4000m peaks – an extreme terroir to say the least.
Of course we also love to explore the wine regions in the neighboring regions of France & Italy, especially combined with a cycling or hiking itinerary. Road biking through the Cote d’Or in Burgundy with visits to Grand Cru cellars, mountain biking the remote trails of the Valle d’Aosta and discovering unique local varietals like Prié Blanc and Fumin Rouge, hiking in the Dolomites UNESCO world heritage region and sampling the renowned whites of the Sud Tirol at mountain top rifugios. Or taking the slow road on a food and wine itinerary through Piedmont sampling the best of the SlowFood movement, homemade agnolotti dal plin or Brasato al Barolo paired perfectly with a local glass of Barbera or Barolo. We are spoiled for choices in just a short radius from our Alpine base to discover the great wines of Western Europe.