Detour: Lavaux Vineyards, Switzerland

 

The terraced vineyards of Lavaux make for a lovely day-trip from Geneva, less than one hour away by train between Montreux and Lausanne.

With incredible views over Lake Geneva, this emerging wine region has flown under the radar, largely due to the fact that the limited quantities of wine produced here are not exported outside the country. (In other words, they keep it all for themselves.)

Get to Know Your Grapes

Switzerland’s most important white wine grape is the Chasselas, which is the main variety grown here.  You’ll taste fruit, minerals and even honey. The ‘Plant Robert,’ an ancient Lemanic grape that is being cultivated once again, produces deeply unique reds with flavors of black cherry and spice.

Walk This Way

The region is signposted with walking times, allowing visitors to taste from town to town on foot. Look for the yellow arrows and decide your route based on how far you’re willing to hike (i.e. Chexbres —> Cully: 1 hour 20 minutes.) This is great fun, good exercise and an impossibly picturesque way to experience the area. Another option is to take the Lavaux Express, a little wine train that travels between the various wine caves.

Taste Test

With no prior introduction to the producers of these mysterious wines, where to begin? Domaine Bovy in Chexbres is a good place to start. Their estate is one of the prettiest, with a lovely flower-covered veranda where tastings are organized. Their roster of 5 whites, 2 reds and 1 rose offers something for everyone. (They even poured our 3 year old a glass of red grape juice, so as not to leave him out.) Kids will love the property’s vineyard-facing trampoline and swing set. Buy a few bottles to take home and head down the road to Le Baron Taverner for a market-fresh gourmet lunch with a stunning panoramic view of the lake and mountains.

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