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.

Why you should try the wines from Vaud...

In partnership with Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office

Lake Geneva wine
Time to try the wines of Lake Geneva.

Try these exciting wines....

The post Everything to know about Lake Geneva wine appeared first on Decanter.


Why you should try the wines from Vaud...

In partnership with Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office

Lake Geneva wine
Time to try the wines of Lake Geneva.

Try these exciting wines....

The post Everything to know about Lake Geneva wine appeared first on Decanter.

Why you should try the wines from Vaud...

In partnership with Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office

Lake Geneva wine
Time to try the wines of Lake Geneva.

Everything to know about Lake Geneva wine

The Lake Geneva Region is distinguished by its devotion to Chasselas. The region’s prodigious diversity of soils and terroirs – the product of glaciers, rivers and mountains – gives variety and complexity to what can justifiably be called Switzerland’s signature grape.


Lake Geneva wine: The climate

The climate is greatly influenced by the lake, which creates ideal conditions for vine-growing and winemaking.

In Lavaux, the most celebrated sub-region between Lausanne and Vevey, they talk of the vineyards being bathed in three suns: firstly the direct sunlight, then the reflected rays from the lake and, finally, the heat absorbed by the extensive network of stone walls, which return their warmth to the vineyards during the night.

Lake Geneva wine

People say the vineyards are bathed in the ‘three suns’. Credit: myvaud Instagram


Lake Geneva wine: The grapes

White varieties

While Chasselas takes the lion’s share of wine production in volume terms, other white wine varieties are increasingly found.

These include Viognier, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, often designated spécialités to distinguish them from the pre-eminent grape.

Classic Chasselas is light (hovering around the 12% mark) with fugitive floral aromas and a slight prickle from the (naturally present) CO2 in the bottle, which gives it a lift and makes it an appealing aperitif wine.

This style of Chasselas – usually a domaine’s entry-level wine – is best drunk within a year of bottling, preferably on one of the many terraces overlooking the lake, possibly accompanying a plate of filets de perches, Switzerland’s favourite dish of fried lake-fish fillets.

More ‘serious’ and structured wines with the ability to age up to 20 years come from the greatest terroirs of the central Lavaux region.

Lake Geneva wines

Credit: VAUD – Région du Léman Facebook


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Red varieties

Red wines are by no means forgotten, with Gamay and Pinot Noir leading the pack.

The over-productive, less interesting clones planted a generation ago are gradually being replaced by selections better suited to the terroir and climate, and winemakers are learning to work with – and, perhaps more importantly, without – oak.

The result has been a noteworthy increase in the quality of the region’s reds, which regularly win plaudits and prizes in prestigious local competitions, such as the annual Grand Prix du Vin Suisse, or international contests like the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Look out, too, for Gamaret and Garanoir, two siblings created by the Swiss Viticultural Research Station (now at Changins), each of them a Gamay Noir x Reichensteiner cross and approved for planting in the 1990s.

Gamaret is valued for its resistance to rot, good colour, supple tannins and relatively low alcohol, while Garanoir ripens earlier, is also resistant to rot with more fruity, spicy qualities and higher alcohol than its sibling.

Although sometimes vinified separately, they are most often blended, either together, or paired variously with Gamay, Pinot Noir, Merlot or Cabernet Franc (the latter two are also found as single varietals).


Visiting the region

This is a warmly hospitable region with a mix of old-established, but young-at-heart growers and a younger generation who travel and taste widely, and are not afraid to experiment with new varieties and new production methods.

Most wine-growers are multilingual, love to practise their English and relish the relative novelty of introducing their wines to visitors from abroad.

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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.