What are the most common grape varieties in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, wine is an expression of the terroir and culture that has shaped our landscape for centuries. At Celliers de Sion, we take great pride in our contribution to this winemaking tradition, cultivating and producing wines that embody the spirit of our region.

Switzerland’s terroir, characterized by a diversity of soils and microclimates, offers an ideal environment for vines. From towering Alps to tranquil lakes, each wine region develops grape varieties that reflect these unique characteristics.

These grape varieties are at the heart of the identity of Swiss wines. They are chosen not only for their ability to thrive in our climates, but also for their ability to translate the complexity of our terroir into captivating flavors and aromas. At Les Celliers de Sion, we’re committed to providing you with an experience that not only introduces you to these unique flavors, but also transports you to the magnificent landscape of Sion, where these wines come to life.

Grape varieties grown in Switzerland

  • Chasselas, more commonly known as Fendant in Valais.
  • Pinot Noir
  • Merlot
  • Gamay
  • Müller-Thurgau (Riesling x Sylvaner)
  • Syrah
  • Petite Arvine
  • Cornalin
  • Humagne Rouge
  • Chardonnay

Chasselas: the Swiss emblem

In Valais, Chasselas is more commonly known as Fendant, a name that evokes the way the grapes tend to split when perfectly ripe.

Chasselas is undoubtedly Switzerland’s most emblematic grape variety, and a veritable pillar of our winegrowing heritage. At Celliers de Sion, Chasselas is cultivated with meticulous care, allowing each bunch to reveal the distinct characteristics of our soil and climate.

On the palate, wines made from this grape variety are distinguished by their freshness, balance and delicate minerality, often accompanied by subtle aromas of flowers, white-fleshed fruit and sometimes a hint of hazelnut, typical of well-ripened Chasselas.

The predominance of Chasselas in Swiss vineyards is testimony to its exceptional adaptation to our environment. It covers a large part of the vineyards of Valais, our canton, where it benefits from generous sunshine and the natural protection afforded by the surrounding mountains.

In our range, you’ll find Chasselas wines that celebrate this variety of terroirs. Whether it’s a light, lively wine to be enjoyed young, or a more structured cru with ageing potential, each bottle reflects our commitment to showcasing this historic grape variety.

3. Pinot noir: finesse and structure

  • Adaptation and distribution of pinot noir in Switzerland
  • Typical tasting notes
  • How we grow this grape variety in Sion

4. Gamay: the companion of Pinot Noir

  • History of Gamay in Switzerland
  • Distinctive characteristics and style of wines
  • Our approach to Gamay at Celliers de Sion

5. Merlot: the Ticino influence

  • Introduction of Merlot in Ticino
  • Aromatic profile and popularity
  • The impact of the Ticino climate on this grape variety

6. Native and rare grape varieties

  • Cornalin and humagne rouge: hidden treasures
  • The importance of preserving indigenous grape varieties
  • Les Celliers de Sion initiatives to promote these varieties

7. Conclusion

  • Summary of the importance of these grape varieties for Swiss viticulture
  • Invitation to explore these varieties through our wines

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