Swiss Winery of the year title goes to the Dutruy brothers in Founex, Vaud
The Dutruy brothers in Founex are celebrating tonight, winners of the 2017 Swiss Winery of the year title. It is given in part for the large number of wines that obtain medals, in relation to the number of entries a winery submits to the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse (GPVS). Frères Dutruy‘s winners include: 2nd place for white single grape wines with Les Romaines Gewürztraminer 2015, 2nd place for sparkling wines with Les Romaines Brut Rosé 2015, and a Chasselas runner-up with Dézaley Grand Cru Versailles 2015.
The title is particularly pleasing because the wines entered are the first made in the new cellar the brothers opened not long after the difficult summer of 2013, when the winery suffered heavy damage from hail. Building permits were slow in coming while Founex grappled with the politics covering new buildings on the outskirts of town, and the winery struggled to expand and develop new wines while working in cramped quarters.
The award, given Tuesday night in Bern at the annual GPVS gala, acknowledges the overall quality of the wines made by Christian and Julien. The payoff is public recognition of the existing appreciation by consumers who have helped the winery grow from a smaller business started by the brothers’ father. Hats off to a winery that deserves to be called the best!
The GPVS had some 2,800 entries this year from around Switzerland, which competed in 13 categories. (See the complete list of winners, slated to go live tonight).
From the press release:
Canton Valais (Switzerland’s largest wine region) was on the winners’ podium 14 times this year, ahead of German-speaking Switzerland (8) with les Grisons, Zurich, and Basel, Vaud (7), Neuchâtel Trois Lacs (5), Geneva (3) and Ticino (2). For the first time this year, the regions of Zürich, Neuchâtel Trois Lacs and Geneva won several awards.
Canton Valais won six categories: other white mono-varietals, Pinot Noir, Gamay, other red mono-varietals, wines with residual sugar and sparkling wines. The Chasselas category was won by canton Vaud; Ticino won the Merlot category, with Les Grisons carrying off the Müller-Thurgau. The Best Rosé came from Neuchâtel, the Best Blend categories were won by Basel (white) and Zürich (red). The new Gamaret-Garanoir mono-varietal or blend category was carried off by canton Geneva.
Four special prizes were also awarded at this event:
Swiss Winery of the Year 2017: Les Frères Dutruy, Founex (VD). With several medal-winning wines, two short-listed wines and two winners, Christian and Julien Dutruy have certainly made their mark this year (the first vintage to be vinified in their brand new winery).
Swiss organic prize: Vengeance Tardive Begnins 2016, AOC La Côte, Domaine la Capitaine, Begnins (VD): Reynald Parmelin took the Organic Wine Prize once again, with a Pinot Gris that has remarkable finesse.
Vinissimo prize: Coup de cœur Blanc. Won by A Priori 2016, AOC Valais, Vinigma gmbh, Basel (BS), an elegant Valais blend which is finely balanced.
Prix Vinissimo “Coup de cœur” red: Piccola Vigna Merlot Barrique 2013, Doc Ticino, Piccola Vigna Sagl, Coldrerio (TI): a Merlot with silky tannins, made from perfectly-ripe fruit.
Arvinis invites Moldavia
Central and Eastern European wines are rapidly coming up in the world today, after a struggle of several years by several regions to rebuild vineyards and wineries that suffered under Communist rule. Moldavia is one such area and Swiss winelovers will have a chance to taste these wines next spring. Arvinis today announced its 2018 guest of honour for the wine fair that will run from 25 to 30 April in Montreux: the Moldavian government, which will be at the fair with a representative selection of the country’s wines.
Moldavia, an independent republic, is located between Ukraine and Romania; it exports its wines (70% white, 40% red) to more than 50 countries today. Moldavia’s vines cover an area 10 times greater than the vineyards of Switzerland. Significant progress has been made in quality, and since 2013 the country has had a European-based appellation system. The four main wine regions are Valul lui Traian, Stefan Voda, Codru and Divin.
Events: museum night, Rouvinez’s 70 years,
A heads-up for a few upcoming events:
Throughout Switzerland, the annual museum night is 11 November, with museums offering special events and, often, free entry. The Wine Museum in Valais (Sierre and Salgesch) has a free evening programme, in French, with a presentation on the lives of transhumance vignerons, followed by free pumpkin soup with aperitif.
The Rouvinez family winery in Sierre, one of the country’s largest and with consistently good wines, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Their collection of Valais vineyards includes some of the finest in the region. Join them Friday 17 (16:30-20:30) and Saturday 18 November (10:00-17:00) to sample their new Coeur de Domaine Brut before it hits the shops and to taste their wide range of wines (10% off on purchases).
Very sadly for me, this event is well out of my budget range, but if you can afford it and you speak French, this is a terrific opportunity: Ecole Nobilis in Sion, with Baghera wines, is running a vertical tasting of Porto Quinta do Noval Nacional, 11 vintages from 2004 to 1963. In Geneva, private event for 16-17 persons, Saturday 11 November at 18:30. Ahhhhhh.
A wonderful chance to learn about the famed St. Joseph wines from the northern Rhone Valley, offered by Vinum magazine in Geneva, Monday 13 November. Tasting open to the public, free of charge if you have a subscription or CHF10 if not – reservations obligatory.