Ellen’s Wine World: “Sensory pleasure of Swiss reds”
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The wine-tasting spring and summer season begins next week with the now-established tradition of the Arvinis wine fair in Morges.
This is the 19th year for the privately-run fair that hosts 2,500 wines from around the world, including a large number of Swiss wines, many of them bottled shortly before the event, allowing vintage 2013 white wines to make their debut.
The 2013 vintage has now been declared an excellent one, after early months of concern because of the crazy 2013 weather that included a long and cold spring, two major hailstorms that wiped out up to 95 percent of the vines in the worst-hit areas.
Last year saw 22,000 visitors to the indoor fair at the Halles CFF across from the train station in Morges.
Bergerac’s generous, well-structured wines to feature
The fair runs six days, from 2 to 7 April. This year’s guest of honour is wines from Bergerac. The region in the southwest of France, with vineyards along the banks of the Dardogne river, produces wines that are well-structured and generous. The area has 12,500 hectares of vines tended by 1,100 grapegrowers and 13 AOCs (appellation d’origine controlée), with 150 wine merchants.
Bergerac borders Périgord and Saint Emilion and if this conjures up black truffles, you’re right. The region is famous for its truffles as well as its blends made from seven grape varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle and Sémillon. Two of the appellation areas, Monbazillac and Saussignac, are also producers of notable sweet wines.
Series of events, workshops
Arvinis each year offers a rich selection of workshops and other events, including one in English which I lead. This year I’ll be helping a group of up to 25 people discover the “Sensory pleasure of Swiss reds” early on Friday evening, which leaves you ready to sample the fair’s huge collection of wines during the rest of the evening. Here’s the description from the events page. Price: CHF65, which includes the CHF30 entry fee. You can register here.
The other workshops, in French, include a discovery session on Syrahs of the world with young and dynamic sommelier Geoffroy Bentrari, a rare selection of pre-phylloxera wines with José Vouillamoz, Swiss researcher who is an international expert on grape DNA. Both speak English. There are also gastronomy sessions, food and wine pairings with Morges wines served with carpaccios and tartares and another that focuses on Swiss truffles.
Arvinis is open during the week from 16:00-22:00, Saturday from 11:00-22:00 and Sunday from 11:00-20:00.