There is a lot going on – far too much to list everything – in our little Swiss wine world. I’m having to say no to a trip to Zurich for the mega event, Expovina, which opens today. Too much going on, but I would go if I could, and so should you. Meanwhile, closer to home, I’m seeing the fruit of the labours of two wine friends, Jean-François Genoud and Michele Caimotto, whose new online business King Size Wine sells large format bottles of Swiss wine. A very fun product and their newsletter, which introduced me to the business, points out quite usefully that you shouldn’t try to pick up an Impériale with one hand (6 litres) or open it with a regular corkscrew (the cork is bigger than normal) or serve it as you would a lighter bottle, for it weighs 9 kg!
Wine tourism projects continue to pop up everywhere, to my delight. Next week I’m going to a Saturday tasting and class in distillation at Domaine du Daval in Sierre, which makes great eaux-de-vie in addition to some beautiful wines – their Pinot Noir won a top great gold medal at this summer’s Mondial des Pinots. They also run a B&B, sell fresh fruit (my apricots for my jam came from there), and are known for their asparagus. Great opportunity to learn about Swiss distilling, 10:00 Saturday 10 November, Colline du Daval.
Meanwhile, I’m holding my breath that my own garden’s magnificent Braeburn apples are able to carry on ripening for another week, with temperatures dipping too close to 0C for comfort. The massive rainfall we had in parts of Valais translated into a spring-like rebirth in my garden, with blueberries flowering (poor confused plant) and the saffron I had almost given up on suddenly blooming. I shall have a small personal crop after all, although it looks like I also need to weed the maple tree helicopters, less pleasing.
Looking to squeeze several discovery visits to top Valais wineries into the one day you can find on your calendar during the busy holiday season? Just the thing coming up in Martigny, the Cinquième Glorieuse 23-25 November. It’s a public version of a private series of tastings of some of the best wines in the canton, which take place every year on Mondays, the day restaurants are closed. The private one is for sommeliers, restaurant and bar owners, anyone in the business – and the public one is for you. Take advantage of it.
At the southwestern tip of Switzerland, Genève Terroir is taking part in the Automnales at Palexpo, starting tomorrow (to 11 November). The restaurant is featuring specialties made from local products, made by students at the Ecole Hôtelière de Genève, and you can buy terroir products at the shop as well as watch local chefs whip up specialties. Grape variety competitions take place every day; test your skill. Halle 1, stand A75 – straight back and to your right when you enter. You might want to combine your visit with one to Peissy 10 November, the day when the village celebrates its very special annual Fête.