If you like award-winning wine, gourmet food and the chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event, you need to get yourself to Vevey, Switzerland post-haste.
The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces—a UNESCO World Heritage site and top European wine region—offer a unique Swiss wine route through Switzerland’s stunning landscape.
Source: The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
Switzerland is no stranger to high marks.
Discover wonderful views of Switzerland, the Alps and Geneva Lake.
The Lavaux area in Switzerland is one of Europe’s oldest winegrowing regions, a distinction which has earned for Lavaux a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is an area of immense charm, a perfect region to linger and enjoy the local Chasselas wines which take so much of their character from the local soil.
The very first stamp on my very first passport had the name of Switzerland on it. by Joanne Rae M. Ramirez
Source: Swiss memories | Philstar.com
Set course for Lavaux, on the shores of Lake Geneva, for a taste of Switzerland’s most storied—and stunningly beautiful—wine region.
As the saying has it, there are three suns that shine on the Lavaux vineyard terraces in Switzerland. The first is the sun on the vines, the second is the sun that reflects off the hand-hewn stone terraces on which those vines grow, and the last is the sun on Lake Geneva itself, warming its deep, azure waters. The result of those suns is that Lavaux—and really all of Switzerland’s Vaud canton—produces remarkable wines. The hitch is that, outside of Swiss borders, almost nobody knows about them.
So, go. Vaud, which embraces the north shore of Lake Geneva, is truly one of the world’s most spectacular vineyard regions—a bold statement, given the competition, but true, particularly of the Lavaux subregion. Its intricate terraced stone walls, originally built in the 1200s by northern Italian stonemasons, helped make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
Read more from source: Where to eat, drink, and stay on Lake Geneva.
With an arrival timed to Swiss National Day, a holiday that symbolizes the 1291 founding of the Federation around which Switzerland was formed, celebratory fireworks seem to shout: “Welcome to Vaud.” Home to such illustrious settings as Lausanne, Vevey and Montreux—all perfectly perched along the shores of Lake Geneva—this is where bonjour is spoken to passing strangers “just because,” a three-kiss greeting is standard and everything is considered an opportunity to open a bottle of wine.
As one of Europe’s largest lakes, Lac Léman, better known as Lake Geneva, is a significant presence in this region that shares the liquid icon with its across-the-water neighbor, France. When you add lakeside promenades, hillside vineyards, cobblestone town centers and a backdrop of the Alps, the resulting recipe is a magnet for those lured by luxury.
Walking along with my guide, Gundela, through what was undoubtedly one of the most spectacular wine trails I have ever experienced, I had to wonder how, nearly a thousand years ago, the Lavaux terraced vineyards were planted on these dizzyingly steep slopes along Switzerland’s Lake Geneva.
“We are pretty certain the Romans planted the first grapes in this area, but our documentation only goes back to the 12th century, when monks settled here and began to cultivate the vineyards,” Gundela explained as we trekked along the five-kilometre walking path through this UNESCO world heritage site.
And it was no easy task for those enterprising monks. Because of the steep slopes, fortifying walls had to be laboriously constructed of stone, and they are still in existence — and doing their job — to this day.
I fell in love with Switzerland when I had a crush on a boy in school whose parents were Swiss. I think I still do have a crush on Switzerland… More recently I spoke at a conference in Montreaux and learned all about Swiss wines and the Swiss wine-growing regions, taking time to visit vineyards.
My love of Switzerland has seen me often in and around Geneva – and it is from Geneva that you can access the rest of Switzerland easily by train. I fly Swiss mostly as they go from Heathrow and can be inexpensive but with 8kgs in cabin baggage you need a hold bag too. Easier is EasyJet with heavy-as-you-want cabin bags. I recommend *not* returning to Gatwick late if you live outside London and take public transport as I’ve experienced trouble every time. Hard lessons learned by a frequent traveller.
In the summer of 1999, I sat along the shores of Lake Geneva in the bucolic Swiss city of Vevey — along with a couple of thousand other spectators — and watched a spectacle that celebrated the glories of wine. This was no ordinary bacchanal but the Fête des Vignerons, the Winegrowers’ Festival, which is held approximately once every 20 years or so.
It’s produced and performed once in a generation by the city residents of Vevey and the surrounding vineyard communities along the shores of Lake Geneva, with the French Alps as backdrop, an extraordinary social event that brings together a literal cast of thousands featuring local amateur actors, singers, and dancers. The original one was held in 1797 and it is organized by the Confrérie des Vignerons (the Brotherhood of Winegrowers), which dates back to medieval times.
Who’s the most beautiful of the m all? Forbes Travel did a comparison of wine regions across the globe and concluded that it’s the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux region on the shores of Lake Geneva.
This UNESCO World Heritage site forms Switzerland’s largest contiguous vineyard area with terrace after terrace offering magnificent views.
St-Saphorin, Dézaley, Epesses – names which roll easily off the tongue of fans of fine wine. And the views from the Lavaux vineyards, set high above Lake Geneva, provide the perfect backdrop for winelovers. The natural, cultural and culinary highlights of this area are definitely well worth a visit.
The blue-yellow “Train des Vignes” is a very convenient way to travel. In just twelve minutes it winds its way from Vevey through the lush green vineyards up to Puidoux-Chexbres.
Gál Tibor Egri Bikavér Titi, Eger, Hungary 2015 (£8.99, Lidl) Remember Bull’s Blood? Though its history dates back to the 19th century, it came to prominence in the UK as Hungary’s contribution to an era when the supermarkets first took wine to the masses in the 1970s and 1980s – a robust, dry red blend to set alongside big-selling Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon and those early rays of “sunshine in a glass” from Australia and Chile. It’s not quite so easy to find these days, but when it does turn up – whether labeled in English or with the Hungarian “bikavér” – it’s as a much more refined and flavoursome beast. I loved the peppery strawberry and cherry fruitiness in Lidl’s refreshing, gently grippy new addition, while Bolyki Egri Bikaver 2015 (£15.95, Vinoteca) is deeper and darker, with black cherries and olives.
Kopfensteiner Blaufränkisch Eisenberg, Burgenland, Austria 2014 (£12.75,Oddbins)