Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

In partnership with Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office

Lake Geneva wineries
Lake Geneva

Where to go during your trip...

The post Vaud wineries to visit near Lake Geneva appeared first on Decanter.


In partnership with Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office

Lake Geneva wineries
Lake Geneva

Where to go during your trip...

The post Vaud wineries to visit near Lake Geneva appeared first on Decanter.

In partnership with Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office

Lake Geneva wineries
Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva wineries to visit

The best part about visiting the Lake Geneva wine region is that distances are short – from Nyon to Aigle it’s barely 100 kilometres, or one hour speeding along the motorway or using the excellent train service…


How to get there and how to get around

By car, train or plane to Geneva.

The vineyards start just outside the city and end at Bex, about 1.5 hours along the lake.

Switzerland has one of the most efficient and best integrated public transport services in the world, so using the train, PostBuses and boats to get around within the region is a viable (and restful) option.

The Swiss Travel Pass (buy before arrival from outside the country) gives free, unlimited, travel on all public transport. Ask about the local transport card, too – it’s given out free by all hotels.


La Côte

Starting at the western end, La Côte, stretching from close to Geneva around to Morges, is the biggest and most bucolic part. Vineyard holdings are larger here and vines rub shoulders with apple and pear trees.

 Les Frères Dutruy

First up in Founex is Les Frères Dutruy, which offers visits on weekdays to the original property in the village and on Saturdays to the modern winery close by. Julien Dutruy is an irrepressible guide to the domaine’s wines and a good example of Switzerland’s younger generation of well-travelled winemakers, with two-year stints in Bordeaux and Burgundy under his belt.

Unusually for La Côte – a region majoring in Chasselas – the Dutruys’ main plantings are of Gamay, Pinot Noir and Gamaret.

Lake Geneva wineries, Les Frères Dutruy

Les Frères Dutruy

Domaine de la Maison Blanche

Further round the lake at Mont-sur-Rolle, jovial winemaker Yves de Mestral’s Domaine de la Maison Blanche sits on a gentle elevation overlooking the lake, surrounded by vines. If the weather is fine, tastings take place in the garden; it’s just the place to start testing Chasselas’ oft-quoted ability to faithfully reflect the terroir in which it is grown, as seen through the lens of de Mestral’s different cuvées of the same grape from various plots (plus a sparkling wine).


Lavaux

The central part, the Lavaux region, extends from Lausanne round to Vevey. This is home to some of Switzerland’s most venerated vineyards, originally terraced and planted in the Middle Ages by Cistercian monks and to this day responsible for some of the most elegant and ageworthy Chasselas.

Domaine Chappuis

There’s a huge concentration of talented wine-growers here (helpfully indicated by small brown signposts), among them Domaine Chappuis in Rivaz, a family-run estate established in 1335 – Christophe Chappuis belongs to the 22nd generation to make wine here.

You can sign up for the ‘Lavaux Experience’, which involves a morning in the vineyard where he explains the tasks of the season followed by a tasting, lunch and three bottles to take home; or simply settle down in the cosy tasting room and work your way through his range of superb Chasselas and stunning red blends.

If you run out of time, or just fail to secure an appointment with one or other wine-growers, Vinorama, a wine bar-cum-shop in Rivaz will come to the rescue (see ‘Dine like a local’). The brainchild of Christophe Chappuis’s father Vincent, it gathers wines from around 150 vignerons in Lavaux all under one roof. The visit starts with a short video, which explains the winemaker’s year, then you can taste from the weekly-changing offer of open wines and/or buy a bottle to go.

Vinorama, Lake Geneva wineries

Vinorama

Blaise Duboux

Up the hill in the village of Epesses, biodynamic grower Blaise Duboux is another master of Chasselas and a firm believer in its ability to age (‘when you age Chasselas from a prime site, it gets dressed up and becomes a jacket-and-tie wine!’). He’s also an ardent defender of Plant Robez (aka Plant Robert), a Gamay clone thought to have arrived long ago from Burgundy, which took root here, then all but disappeared in the 1960s and was resuscitated in 2002 by Duboux and a band of believers.


Chablais

The final piece in the lakeside vineyard puzzle is the Chablais region, spread out along the right bank of the Rhône between the Château de Chillon and Bex, on the threshold of neighbouring Valais.

Badoux

Badoux, established in Aigle by Henri Badoux in 1908 and now part of the Schenk group, is famous for its best-selling Chasselas, Aigle Les Murailles, whose iconic label, painted by Frédéric Rouge in 1918 and unchanged ever since, shows the green lizard that basks in the estate’s steep shale/gravel terraces above the town. It’s their bread-and-butter wine, whose huge sales allow oenologist Daniel Dufaux to have fun with small cuvées of other whites (Viognier, Pinot Gris), reds (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc) and even an orange wine from Chasselas named Hommage; many of these can be tasted in the newly created wine bar and shop adjoining the winery.

This article first appeared in the August 2017 issue of Decanter magazine, out now.

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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.