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Regions

Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Description to Vaud

Canton and wine-growing region with the capital Lausanne in French-speaking Switzerland. The vineyards cover around 3,900 hectares of vines. The beginnings of viticulture date back to the Romans. In the Middle Ages, pioneering work was done by the Cistercians, whose monks painstakingly cleared the steep slopes of most of the vineyards that still exist today. Since 1995, there has been an AOC system with Grand Cru vineyards. The use of the designation Grand Cru is permitted throughout the canton, provided that the wines come from vineyards listed in the vineyard register and bear designations such as Clos (enclosed vineyard), Château (castle), Domaine (vineyard domain) or Abbaye (monastic abbey). The canton is divided into four areas, one located in the Three Lakes region and three on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman):

Bonvillars

This appellation actually comprises three appellations, there is Bonvillars with 195 hectares (with the well-known commune of Champagne), Côtes de l'Orbe with 168 hectares - both on Lake Neuchâtel (Lac de Neuchâtel), and Vully on Lake Murten (Lac de Morat) with 50 hectares. However, they are mostly referred to together as Bonvillars or, rarely, as Nord-Vaudois (North Vaadt) because it is the most northerly growing area. Vully is special because this appellation spans the two cantons of Fribourg (107 ha) and Vaud (50 ha). The winegrowers of Vully, however, see themselves as a common wine region, although there is a cantonal border with different cantonal wine regulations in between. However, the Swiss wine guide only counts Vully as part of the Three-Lakes Region, but Bonvillars and Côtes de l'Orbe as part of Vaud.

Chablais

The appellation covers 560 hectares of vineyards north-east of Lake Geneva and along the right bank of the Rhône between Martigny and Montreux to the border of the canton of Valais. The name is derived from Caput Laci (end of the lake). Five communes have AOC status and are allowed to bear the name on the label, these are Aigle (with the famous wine-growing museum Château d'Aigle), Bex, Ollon, Villeneuve and Yvorne.

Montreux - Genfersee

Lavaux

The appellation covers 830 hectares of vineyards between Lausanne and Montreux on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva. It is one of the most scenic in Switzerland. Of the 23 communes, nine have AOC status, some with Grand Cru sites. These are Calamin (Grand Cru), Chardonne, Dézaley (Grand Cru), Epesses, Lutry, Montreux, Saint Saphorin, Vevey and Vilette. Here there are steep-sided rock terraces rising from the lake. The vineyards on extreme steep slopes near Dézaley and around Saint Saphorin were planted by the Cistercians of the Hautcrèt Palézieux monastery in the 12th century. In mid-2007, Lauvax was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

La Côte

By far the largest appellation, La Côte covers 2,000 hectares of vineyards and stretches northwest of Lake Geneva from Lausanne to just outside Geneva. Here, too, the Cistercian monks of the three monasteries of Oujon, Romainmoêtier and Bonzmont planted vineyards. The area contributes a total of 40% of wine production. Twelve communes have Grand Cru status, these are Aubonne, Begnins, Bursinel, Côte de Vincy, Féchy, Luins, Mont-sur-Rolle, Morges (largest area), Nyon, Perroy, Tartegnin and Vinzel.

Grape varieties

About 70% of the vineyard area is covered by Chasselas, which is called Perlan here. Wines made from this variety are called Dorin or, for top products, Terravin. Red wine varieties occupy about a quarter, especially Pinot Noir with 15% and Gamay with 12%. These are often blended with each other, but are also vinified as single varietals. The branded red wine corresponding to Dôle in the canton of Valais is called Salvagnin here. The classic varieties Auxerrois, Charmont, Diolinoir, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Muscat Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Silvaner (here Johannisberg), Plant Robert and Syrah are still present in small quantities, as well as many new varieties such as Divico, Doral, Galotta, Garanoir, Gamaret, Mara and Servagnin.

Wines and producers

A traditional heritage of the wine-growing region of Vaud is the 0.7-litre wine bottle. The most important event in the Swiss wine world is the "Fête des Vignerons" in the town of Vevey on the north shore of Lake Geneva. The event dates back to the 17th century, with all the winegrowers celebrating their work in the vineyard. It is only held every 25 years, the last one was in August 1999. Near the capital Nyon, on the shores of Lake Geneva, is the Changins research institute for plant protection. The best wines of the canton are awarded the "Lauriers d'Or Terravin" seal according to strict criteria. Well-known producers are Association Viticole d'Ollon, Association Viticole d'Yvorne, Badoux, Bolle, Bovard, Cave de la Côte Uvavins, Dubois Fils, Hammel, Les Frères Dubois, Massy, Obrist, Schenk, Société Vinicole de Bex and Testuz.

In this section you will find
currently 153,798 Wines and 24,043 Producers, including 2,416 classified producers.
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