Daniel Dufaux has just been named president of the Geneva-based Swiss Oenologists Union. His election is the latest sign that the Swiss are getting more serious about marketing their wines. Swiss wines traditionally sold locally and didn’t worry too much about selling further afield, with limited supplies and a loyal home market. The new implementation of the Cassis de Dijon ruling, which opens the Swiss-European Union border to more products, could change that. Dufaux points out, in an interview in Le Nouvelliste, that Switzerland has no limits on wine imports, a concern.
Dufaux takes over from Mike Favre of Valais, a colourful character who has been passionate about boosting recognition of the quality of Swiss wines. But Dufaux is particularly well situated to talk politics, which is where Swiss wine marketing breaks down. He straddles the fiercely cantonal world of wines, with roots in Chablais, on the Vaud-Valais border, several years in the terraced vineyards of Lavaux in canton Vaud, followed by working for Valais wine producer Giroud. And he is now the oenologist at Badoux in Aigle, Vaud.
A key part of his job, he says, is to ensure that oenologists communicate better about their work, particularly in political circles. He expects to be more involved in discussions with EU colleagues. Swiss winemakers excel at making top wines, he told Le Nouvelliste, but they don’t know how to talk about them, and for this, they should turn to their more experienced European colleagues.