Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Swiss wine producers at the opening today of Arvinis in Morges will be smiling, with the government announcing Tuesday the first upturn in wine consumption in several years (search for “l’année viticole 2007”). Figures for 2007 show a 3.6% overall increase in wine consumed, but with a rise of 5.7% for Swiss wines and 2.3% for foreign wines. Non-Swiss wines nevertheless remain a substantial part of the market, with 1.7 hectolitres out of a total of 2.8 hectolitres consumed.
Pinot noir, the grape made famous by Burgundy but grown widely throughout the world, is Switzerland’s largest variety, with 4,449 hectares planted. Chasselas, the white grape often associated with Swiss wine, is the second most common variety, with 4,265 hectares planted. Red wine accounts for 51% of the total produced, with white wine having 49%.
Switzerland is notable for the variety of grapes grown because of the large variations in terroirs, with their specific mixes of soil, air, altitude and light. There was strong growth in several new varieties and some of the specialty grapes in 2007, including Gamaret (+18 ha), Merlot (+17 ha), Garanoir (+13 ha) and Diolinoir (+11
ha), plus Petite Arvine (+7 ha) and
Savagnin blanc/Heida (+12 ha).
Arvinis is one of Switzerland’s main annual wine events, with 18,000 visitor expected to sample some 2,000 wines from 16-21 April 2008. GenevaLunch will be publishing a series of articles on Swiss wine during the event.
Ed. note: wine is measured in hectolitres, one of which equals 100 litres.