The club said in a statement 27 August that it is happy to help spread the word about the canton’s wines, as the hockey club travels around the country.
Sports, especially Swiss mountains, with wine
Switzerland has a long history of ties between sports and wine, starting with a number of high-level athletes who are wine producers. Among them: Christophe Bonvin, well-known Swiss football star for several years, now a manager at the Charles Bonvin winery in Sion, and Florent Troillet, often described as one of the world’s top skiers/mountaineers, who has more than once won the daunting high-mountain PDG (Patrouille des glaciers) race. Some of his time is regularly spent working with his uncle in the vines and cellar.
A large number of people in the wine business in Switzerland are amateur athletes, such as Pierre-Emmanuel Bess, journalist for Le Temps newspaper, who runs marathons.
Wine producers Maurice Zufferey and André Fontannaz are among scores who climb the mountains near them in Valais in their spare time. Zufferey recently hiked and climbed in Armenia with Jacques Perrin, owner of wine store and school Cave SA – an extraordinary wine and climbing adventure that saw Zufferey planting vines at 2,800 metres (see Perrin’s blog, a wonderful mix of wine, philosophy, travel, literature and reflection).
GSHC, Geneva-Servette Hockey Club, has two wine partners, Geneva Terroir, which includes Opage and the cantonal wine office, and the Cave de Genève, the canton’s largest winery, an award-winning cooperative.
The Lausanne club had, until this summer, one of the country’s largest wineries, Giroud, as a partner. It ended the relationship just as winery owner Dominique Giroud’s legal woes were making headlines in Swiss media. The hockey club declined to comment for Swiss media at the time if the negative publicity was linked to its decision, saying only that the contract had reached its end date.
Other wineries that have partnerships with sports groups include Kursner in Féchy, with JPR Racing Team and the Cave Jean-René Germanier, which famously made two Alinghi wines for the America’s Cup races when the Swiss team was a major contender in 2007.