Swiss wineries aren’t the things that first come to mind when you think of Switzerland. One’s mind usually goes to chocolate, cheese, magical lakes, and mountains. But Swiss wines are actually quite tasty and are worth a try along with the other Swiss drinks.
There are multiple wine regions spread out all over the country and almost all of the Swiss wine production is drunk in Switzerland with only 2% being exported to Germany. The Swiss obviously love their Swiss wine!
A great way to experience Swiss wine and wine regions is to visit the top wineries in the wine country. We have put a list together of the great winemakers in Switzerland so you can experience Swiss wine in the best way possible.
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Domaine Jean-René Germanier
You will find that a lot of wineries here are placed in some of the most spectacular landscapes and the Domaine Jean-René Germanier winery is one of those.
Domaine Jean-René Germanier sits in the small village of Vétroz in the Valais wine region, close to the banks of the Rhone River, looking into the alps. The views from this winery are amazing as you look down the vineyard to the Rhone and then onto the mountain peaks behind.
You can stop off at this winery any day of the week (bar Sunday) from 8 am–12 pm or 1:30–5:30 pm for a tour and wine tasting, or in the evenings on Fridays and Saturdays.
Their top Swiss wine is matured in oak barrels kept in their 200-year-old vaulted cellar. You can try a range of their Swiss wines, both red and white in their tasting room, a wood-paneled caveau. The wine tasting can also be paired with traditional food such as fondue, brisolee, and raclette.
Buy a bottle or two of their Les Reserves or Les Classiques Aoc Valais to take home with you!
St. Jodern Kellerei
Not far away from the Domaine Jean-René Germanier winery is the St. Jodern Kellerei. You will find it on the banks of the Vispa river, a tributary of the Rhone close to the town of Visp.
The St. Jodern Kellerei is the highest winery with the highest vineyards in Europe sitting at 1150 meters above sea level and it came about as a cooperative about 40 years ago.
Wine is the most important natural resource in this region and the cooperative ensured that high-altitude vineyards continued by giving the growers an avenue to sell their wine through.
The location of this less-than-normal wine country is quite astonishing and if you dare, you can hike up there from the town of Visp to taste some special Swiss wine. You also have the option to drive too, of course.
The Swiss wine made here is called Heida which is only made with authentic Swiss winemaking processes. It is an aromatic and spicy white grape that forms both naturally sweet and dry wines which pair deliciously with the local cheese and meat.
You can book a wine tasting here and include lunch with it or simple tasting boards of cheese and cured meats. It is very well-priced and can also include a cellar tour if you like.
Terres De Lavaux
Overlooking Lake Geneva is the UNESCO World Heritage Site wineries of Terres De Lavaux. This is the most famous of all wine regions in Switzerland as it is a wine region that dates back to the 11th century.
The terraced vineyards of Lavaux and their grapes are said to be blessed with three suns. This includes the sun, the sunshine reflected off Lake Geneva, and lastly, the warmth reflected off the stone terraces.
There are many winemakers across these vineyards, more than 15 having looked at a map, and wine lovers can combine them all into a wonderful hike with a lot of Swiss wine.
The hike through the vineyards is stunning and you should start at Lutry and work your way down to the lake shore as far as you like before taking the bus or ferry back up!
Wine lovers should be sure to try both red wine and white wine from this area. It has a bit of a minerally taste to it due to the soil, as most Swiss wine can.
Domaine de Chambleau
Sitting just north of the Lavaux winery and vineyards also on a lake are the vineyards of Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Biel, and Lake Morat. This wine region accounts for up to 25% of all Swiss wines and not many of them make it to the outside world and are drunk in Switzerland.
The grapes grown in this are a mixture of pinot noir, merlot, Gamay, and local Chasselas but the majority of the grapes in the vineyards are pinot noir.
There is a wonderful family-run winery on the shores of Lake Neuchatel called Domaine de Chambleau. Wine lovers looking for a taste of the wines from this region should flock to this winery on a Friday evening or Saturday morning.
The family owners host a wonderful tasting at their winery in the middle of the vineyards overlooking the lake and it is not one to be missed. You can also learn about how they managed to keep the winery in the family.
Sitting in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino are some of the most unique vineyards in Switzerland. The area of Ticino is blessed with being very sunny and it is a great alpine area for growing wines.
This area specializes more in merlot, a table grape, than pinot noir, which the other Swiss wine regions tend to focus on. But there is a special wine that comes from this sunny area, Bianco di Merlot, a white wine made with red grapes.
The Bianco di Merlot has close to no color and is light and crisp. This is a very tasty wine that will confuse your palette as it is very fruity but colorless.
If you want to try this rather special Swiss wine, the best winery to head to is Vini Brivio right next to the Italian border. You can have a tour of the cellar, and try the excellent merlot, sauvignon blanc, and Bianco di Merlot, of course.
There is also the Vini Brivio wine shop next door where you can buy a great selection of Swiss wines to take with you on your travels, including all the ones mentioned above.
Les Celliers De Sion
Sitting in an alpine valley on the banks of the Rhone in Valais is the wonderful winery of Les Celliers De Sion.
Les Celliers De Sion is an award-winning wine tourism center just outside the town of Sion in the Valais wine region. This area is known for its pinot noir which gets its taste from the dry arid climate of the Valais region.
The Les Celliers De Sion winery is owned by two large wine-making companies called Bonvin and Varone. They really put on a show at their winery offering bike tours of the vineyards, walking tours of the vineyards, and great tastings too!
You can sit in the shade under the vines and taste all the wines from the winery while having delicious alps cheese, dried meats, raclette, and more. You can also go to the shop and buy some specialty wines to take with you.
Domaine La Colombe
Domaine La Colombe is a fantastic winery that lies on the shores of Lake Geneva. It is not a part of the Lavaux vines, it lies further west between Geneva and Lausanne.
What makes Domaine La Colombe special is its sustainable and biodynamic approach to winemaking which they have been using since 1999.
You can visit the Domaine La Colombe winery all year round and enjoy both tastings and tours where you learn about their wines. You will learn all about their winemaking processes too and get to taste a selection of their best with the winemaker.
With the wines come perfect accompaniments in the form of delicious desserts and great local food. The experience is wonderful overall and being so close to Geneva, this is a very easy winery to get to even if you are just dropping in to do some business.
Moncucchetto is a stunning winery in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino just above the shores of Lugano. This winery is known for its fabulous design and architecture all of which are purposeful to influence a sensory wine experience.
Everything from seeing the vineyards to smelling the fruits, hearing the wine pour, touching the soil, and tasting the wines and food are incorporated into the experience and assisted by the design.
A tour around this winery is very unique as you taste alongside experience in the family-owned winery and are served seasonal menus on request by the amazing gourmet chef, Andrea Muggiano (10 people or more).
The wines on offer here are fabulous and there is always something fun going on from cooking classes to events.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the vineyards in Switzerland?
There are vineyards in six main areas in Switzerland: the largest is in Valais, the Vaud (25 percent), the German-speaking region, Geneva, Ticino and lastly the Three Lakes region.
Why does Swiss not export wine?
The main reasons Switzerland does not export wine are that most of the wine is consumed within the country and the high cost of wine compared to other countries does not make it an attractive product to export.
What is the most popular wine in Switzerland?
The most popular wine grapes produced in Switzerland are Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gamay and Chasselas. These varieties make up nearly 75% of all wine in the country.