The Washington Post carries an article about Swiss wine, which is nicely written and some good wines are listed, plus it draws the attention of a wider audience to Swiss wines, all to the good. It also has all the usual clichés (chocolate, cheese, tiny number exported, etc.) that you get when a writer helicopters in, as journalists call the business of developing instant expertise.
At least Jason Wilson is a specialist in doing this, as author of the fun wine travel book, Godforsaken Grapes (paperback out this spring). His book opens with a visit to Chateau Villa in Sierre for wine and cheese, in the company of José Vouillamoz, Swiss grape expert, then he heads up to the very special and high Beudon winery in Valais; he clearly had a good time! Wilson was lucky enough to spend some time with Jacques Granges at Beudon, before he was killed in a tractor accident. Marion Granges, his wife, has carried on with the vineyard.
With the Fête des Vignerons in Vevey this summer and the Concours Mondiale de Bruxelles in Aigle in May, a large number of journalists from abroad will be visiting Switzerland and we can expect to see similar articles.
I’ve added a comment to the article because one very basic mistake slipped in and I hope it won’t be repeated: Chasselas is the number two grape in this country, not number one in terms of the most widely planted. Pinot Noir is our most widely grown grape and while Chasselas is widespread, Pinot Noir is more evenly spread and represents Swiss wine diversity, which is the country’s strong suit for wine (along with excellence), given the varied landscape and terroirs. I also insist that people rethink the clichéd and not correct notion that Swiss wines are pricey, unless you’re looking at wines under $10.
Note that you can subscribe for free to a limited number of articles in the Washington Post to read Wilson’s piece and my comment.