Versatile grape and lessons on wine-making
Merlot gets a big boost, of course, in the Ticino video, but the accent is put on how you can make white and sparkling wines from it as well as red, something that’s rarely done outside the canton. We get to hear Paolo Basso, 2013 World’s Best Sommelier, speak his native Italian – a treat for both of us, I’m guessing, since he has appeared all over Switzerland for the past 12 months, mainly speaking other languages. When he speaks you’re suddenly convinced you understand Italian, at least when the subject is wine.
This video, more than the first three I viewed, appears to be designed to help novices understand how wine is made, and that part is handled nicely.
Well spoken wine producers
Christian Vessaz is one of several winemakers who were selected, I suspect, because they are well-spoken, and his explanation about the Three Lake’s region’s dry Traminer versus the generally sweeter Alsace version of the Gewuerztraminer grape is good. We get to see how four centuries of the same family at the Chateau d’Auvernier have preserved not only grapes in the form of wine but family genes, in the form of faces – I suspect I’m not the only one who stops the video to compare noses and eyebrows.
The cliché of “we are not owners but the guardians of the land for future generations” appears, as it should, because these are not empty words here: Swiss winemakers in general and certainly producers in the three lakes region live with that as their starting point, a good way of getting across the message that Swiss wine producers are pioneers in sustainable and healthier growing methods, with 80 percent of them IP (integrated production) certified, according to SWP. Bravo!
Of sheep and soil
I went hunting for the German-speaking wine region video and suddenly realized there isn’t one for this region: SWP has opted to focus on Graubuenden (Grisons in French), noted for its excellent Pinot Noir wines. I’m not fluent in German, so this one gave me the best taste of how well the videos work if you can’t fully understand the interviews. Hmmm. I wished for sub-titles here. Maybe they will kindly add them. In particular, here, where Chandra Kurt uses her first language, German, once or twice, I wasn’t sure what she was saying.
You could be forgiven if you thought the vineyards are filled with sheep here, a rather funny touch that works.
Verdict: useful and good marketing tools
Filmmaker von Ah appears in the videos several times, so “the making of” is incorporated into the films themselves, interesting and I can’t decide if it bothers me or if I don’t care. It makes a subtle statement that SWP isn’t just making backyard videos, another way of reminding you that “quality” is one of the key words that’s part of the new marketing plan for Swiss wines.
That’s the end of the six videos and for me, overall they work as marketing tools for the Swiss wine industry, particularly at an export level. They are beautiful, pleasing to listen to and to watch, and you learn something but not too much at a time, which isn’t a criticism. SWP is undoubtedly going to have to smooth a few ruffled feathers in areas like Zurich and La Côte in Vaud, not really included, but I’m sure they’ll find a way.