Chardonnay is a high quality varietal, although not adapted to every location. Chardonnay produces fruit regularly, turning out grapes with high sugar content and relatively high acidity.
Chasselas is the key varietal of white wines produced in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It produces a neutral, fruity and floral wine which is well adapted to the taste and habits of most of our consumers, who generally drink white wine outside of meals.
Gamaret was created in 1970 in Pully (Domaine du Caudoz) by Mr. André Jaquinet, who is also its “selectionneur”. Gamaret, like Garanoir, is issued from a cross between Gamay noir and Reichensteiner (white). Gamaret produces balanced and structured red wines, with deep colour, firm tannins and good ageing potential. In a blend, Gamaret is a good complement to Gamay, Pinot, and Garanoir.
Gamay is the dominant varietal of Beaujolais, and is also grown in the Loire Valley and the Centre region of France. In Switzerland, Gamay is widely cultivated in the vineyards of Geneva, Vaud and Valais. Gamay is known for its consistent fertility as well as the lively and affable character of the wines it produces.
Garanoir was created in 1970 in Pully (Domaine du Caudoz) by Mr. André Jaquinet, who is also its “selectionneur”. Like Gamaret, Garanoir is issued from a cross between Gamay noir and Reichensteiner (white). Garanoir can produce both red and rosé wines. It produces a decidedly fruity wine, which acquires intense colour through maceration, but can lack acidity. In a blend, it is a great complement to Gamay, and even to Pinot in certain cases. A Garanoir-Gamaret blend also yields good results.
This northern varietal is much better known under its German name, Gewürztraminer, than as the French “Savagnin rose aromatique”. It is widely cultivated in Alsace, and is a favorite in Germany and the Tyrol Basin. It is also cultivated in numerous countries, including Switzerland.
This varietal is mostly cultivated in northern latitude vineyards and in Central Europe, and is much appreciated in the Valais, in Alsace, and in the Baden region. Pinot Gris is well known for the high sugar content of its musts and its aptitude for over-maturation in dry climates.
The reputation of Burgundy wines, which are produced from Pinot Noir grapes, have driven the worldwide spread of this varietal. In Switzerland, Pinot Noir occupies almost a quarter of the land under wine cultivation, and is found in all vineyards in varying proportions.
Pinot Blanc is an interesting varietal. The high sugar content of its grapes, the richness of its must, and its propensity to regularly produce grapes makes this varietal a sure value. In Swiss vineyards, Pinot Blanc could easily find a privileged home in favourable areas of the Valais, where Chasselas is sometimes criticized for its lack of acidity. When harvested before any signs of over ripening, Pinot Blanc yields a balanced and easy drinking wine, enjoyable either young, or after having gained complexity with moderate ageing. When harvested at a more mature stage, the grapes yield a rich, full-bodied wine, slightly reminiscent of Pinot Gris.
Sylvaner originates from the Danube river basin, and is extensively cultivated in the vineyards of central and northern Europe. In the Valais, under the name Rhin, the varietal has been on the decline, but remains well prized under certain favorable conditions.