The Charming Beauty of Switzerland’s Lavaux
The crystal clear waters of Lake Geneva flow right beside steep hills covered in bountiful vines that are used in making tantalizing white wines in small, artisanal batches.
Welcome to Lavaux, a picturesque wine region in the south of Switzerland. It’s a subregion of the larger Vaud region and it’s surrounded by medieval villages and a breathtaking view of the Alps.
In Lavaux, the vineyards fold uniformly down the steep hills with walking paths winding through them.
The vineyard terraces
The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces stretches to around thirty kilometres, from Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region and along the northern shores of Lake Geneva. The vineyards are nestled between the lake and the villages—rising up ridged rows of stone terraces along the mountain slopes.
The terraces trace their origins to the eleventh century, when the region was under the control of Benedictine monasteries. It has since become a vital part of the region’s economy. In Lavaux, the natural resources are used by local businesses to produce high-quality wine that are also mostly consumed (about 90%) locally.
The taste of Lavaux
Since much of Lavaux produced wines are consumed locally, it’s not as well-known as other Switzerland wine regions for its blends, but more for its picturesque views and lovely countryside. So instead, wine enthusiasts have travelled to the region carrying with them the desire to taste Lavaux’s beautiful white blends.
The region’s distinctive whites are made from the Chasselas grape. In fact, the number of bottles produced using Chasselas grapes are double that of the red wines made. The blend born from this grape variety is a fruity white wine. The wine has a fruity flavour with pleasant minerality and a hint of salt, which goes well with its light, crisp finish.
The local winemakers call it an “easy drinking” type of wine which they take—even during the harvest—during breaks to rejuvenate them.
Switzerland wines to taste
This wine can show a range of fruity, floral and mineral flavours, with good acidity and the ability to age well.
This white wine has a brilliant, earthy aroma. Its earthy flavour has a slight final bitterness to it. This wine has a maturity of five to eight years.
Although a small part of the Vaud region, Lavaux definitely stands apart. The region is so breathtakingly beautiful and rich in history that in 2007, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.