Clos, Domaines & Châteaux Wine Tasting in Switzerland
Wines Tasting in the Riviera Vaudoise
The Riviera Vaudoise Region of Switzerland is simply stunning. With the terraced vineyards, never ending lake views and beautiful Châteaux dotted all around, it is a fabulous place to visit. However, it’s even better when the purpose of your visit is wine tasting.
We visited this area recently to discover more about the selected wine-growers which form the association “Clos, Domaines & Châteaux”. Their wine bottles are all adorned with same little red banner which serves as a symbol of their excellence, origin and authenticity. Clos, Domaines & Châteaux are considered under Vaud legislation as “appellations de cru”.
The Riviera Vaudoise
The journey from Zurich to Lausanne takes around 2.5 hours and is in itself a treat. The views are breathtaking as you follow every sweep and curve of the lake. Glued to my window seat it was a never ending vista of beauty as the morning sun rose ever higher as I approached my destination.
Once in the Riviera Vaudoise, we toured the various wine Châteaux all along the the south-facing northern shores of Lac Léman by minibus. In English the lake is better known as Lake Geneva, and this beautiful area is a mecca for wine growing.
The Chasselas Wine
The Chasselas grape is a variety which grows very well in this region and was one we got to know (and really appreciate) over the course of our stay. Fresh, crisp, fruity with mineral tones we really enjoyed tasting each Château’s Chasselas wine, each one unique in its own way.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Perhaps the part of the Riviera Vaudoise which is most well known is the area of the Lavaux. These vineyards are famous for their UNESCO World heritage site.
Extending from the exquisite Château de Chillon right up to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, they cover an area of around 30km. The cultivation of vines in this area date back to Roman times. Today’s vineyards are said to be the result of the work of the Benedictine and Cistercian monks back in the 11th century, and the tradition of wine making continues to this day.
Château de Vinzel
We started our wine journey at Château de Vinzel where after a short tour of the cellars, we had a wine tasting of the Château de Vinzel Chasselas 2017, Grand Cru Vinzel La Côte AOC 2017. We also tasted the Château de Vinzel Merlot too.
The Chasselas is shown here in a very special glass carafe which allows for very gentle aeration of the wine and was invented by a local local glass artist Yann Oulevay. The carafe allows the Chasselas to gently breathe whilst at the same time keeping all the flavours of the wine.
Château de Châtagneréaz
Next stop was Château de Châtagneréaz in the heart of Mont-sur-Rolles.
Here we had a tour of the cellars followed by a walk around the premises where we saw some interesting examples of ancient “graffiti” on the ceiling. It had all been created over the years by the wine makers working here.
It was followed by a tasting of various wines, not just from Château de Châtagneréaz, but from other local wine producers too, all members of the Clos, Domaines & Châteaux. It was interesting to contrast and compare and there was a lovely lunch with local specialities.
We ventured further on to the beautiful Château D’Éclépens North of Lausanneto find out more about the wine growing process in this particular area of Switzerland and about their production of organic wine. As well as hearing about the fantastic conditions the have for growing wine, we also learned how expensive it is in terms of labour costs to harvest the grapes, especially in comparison with competition from overseas.
In the Riviera Vaudoise picking the vines is very much a manual job as it is impossible to mechanise the process due to the steep slopes and narrowness of the area. This of course leads to greater production costs.
As well as tasting some more delicious Chasselas wines, we also enjoyed a stroll around this beautiful Château.
Clos du Rocher, Yvorne
The following day we visited Clos du Rocher in Yvorne to admire yet more stunning views and to have a tutored wine tasting, comparing in the main, different vintages of Chasselas.
The whole area is so scenic and the wines are tremendous. It’s a prefect destination to explore and taste some wonderful wines. We had a wonderful time and can definitely recommend it for a weekend visit.
The Clos, Domaines & Châteaux
To see all the Châteaux which form part of the Clos, Domaines & Châteaux group take a look at the photos below:
For more information on the wonderful wines we tried and lots more that are just waiting for you to explore, do visit the Clos, Domaines & Châteaux website here.
Fête des Vignerons 2019
One very important wine festival will be taking place in this region in 2019. It only takes place once in a generation – so this is a great opportunity to be a part of it. For more information on the Fête des Vignerons see here.
Where to Stay
Whilst we were in the area we stayed at the Hôtel Royal Savoy Lausanne:
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