Lausanne / Sierre, Valais, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Canton Vaud’s wine group Domaines Clos & Châteaux will be one of the guests of honour at Vinea, Switzerland’s main fair for Swiss wines, which opens to the public Saturday morning at 10:00, outdoors in Sierre. MeteoSwiss is predicting that Friday’s rain will turn to sunny skies during the day Saturday, with temperatures around 15-18C (take a jacket).
The fair, traditionally focused on Valais wines, is extending its reach to include other Swiss winemakers as part of the main offering this year, with two guests of honour: the second is wines from Burgundy’s Cortons hills in France.
The wine fair draws some 10,000 winelovers from Switzerland and neighbouring countries each year, thanks to an easy system for sampling the 1,200 wines and talking to the 110 winemakers presenting. The main street of Sierre is taken over by white tents organized in a line that replicates the Rhone River’s wine-producing villages in Valais, and visitors pay CHF30 for a tasting glass they use to sample as many wines as they like.
Friday the fair opens formally with the awards ceremony for the international wine competition, the Mondial du Pinot Noir.
Vinea is actively promoting travel by train, with the fair a few steps from Sierre’s main station. For those who drive, parking at the Bellevue lot below the train station is free. Ed. note: the fair has a reputation for being convivial, with little serious alcohol abuse among the crowd. It is marketed as an opportunity to learn more about Swiss wines and visitors tend to approach it that way.
Special events as part of Vinea
A group of notable women wine producers, including Switzerland’s 2008 winemaker of the year, Madeleine Gay of Provins, act as guides for small groups during the fair, offering one of the best ways to learn the basic about Swiss wines in a short time. Cost: CHF20 for one hour plus Vinea entry, advance reservations necessary.
Other activities include a poetry event and walk through the vineyards near the home of poet Rainer-Marie Rilke, several food events such as risotto tastings, and special tasting sessions of fine Italian wines and the sweet wines of canton Valais, whose international reputation is rapidly growing.
A particular treat in 2009 will be the new food market, featuring regional produce, in front of the town hall. The pedestrian mall opened 29 August with a weekly market after a year of construction work in the area.
Details for the Vinea wine fair
Avenue Général Guisan, city centre, Sierre
Saturday 5 September, 10:00-17:00
Sunday, 6 September, 10:00-17 :00
CFF train station next to the fair. Parking free at Place Bellevue: well sign-posted
Childcare at the Cour des Miracles is free for children age 3 or over, maximum three hours
Contact for reservations:
Tel.: 027 / 456 31 44
Fax: 027 / 456 21 44