Swiss wine

Swiss wine

The Swiss wine region has nearly 15 000 hectares of vineyards, and the wines are mainly produced in the west and in the south of Switzerland, in the cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, Ticino, Valais and Vaud.

According to data from the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture, [ [ Office fédéral de l’agriculture OFAG] ] the Swiss wine production in 2005 was about 1 million hectoliters, divided into 479 000 hl of white wine and 522 000 hl of red wine. Nearly all the national production is drunk within the national boundaries; less than 2% of the wine is exported (mainly to Germany).


First grapes

The tradition of wine and viticulture in Switzerland is very old, at minimum from the Roman era. Some archaeological evidence seems to prove that the grapes were planted in Valais earlier than the Roman era. In an archaeological excavation near Gamsen, some old grape seed was found, and they date to the Iron Age. Also in Ticino some pollen was found in a palynology excavation. But this evidence does not really prove that the grapes were cultivated, as opposed to spontaneous grapes.

First wines

The first bottle, made in ceramic, was found near Sembrancher (Valais), in a Celtic tomb of a lady of 2nd century BC. These bottles are named "vases a trottola", and they are produced in some Celtic farms in northern Italy. From an inscription on the bottle, we know that it contained wine.Around the 150s BC, in the Celtic era, the people in Valais offered wine to the dead, and probably they also drank the same wine. After a century, the Roman amphorae also appeared.


Swiss wine regions can be divided in three zones:
*The South: "see Ticino (wine region) and Valtellina"
*The West: "see Valais, Geneva, ..."
*The North-East: "see Graubünden, Zurich,..."

ee also

*Oeil de Perdrix, Swiss wine style


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