BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss wines have a boost this week from an airline review, an article in the industry online news site from Australia, eTravel Blackboard, which gives a very upbeat review of Swiss business class travel.
“Not many airlines have a menu with illustrations, but Business Class dining on Swiss flights has always had that extra touch of class. As for food and beverage service, Switzerland’s excellent wines were served in accompaniment of a selection of dishes, vegetarian option included. Swiss wines are not generally exported because production is small and the locals buy up every bottle possible, so it’s a treat to be able to enjoy them when the opportunity arises.”
True, Switzerland has excellent wines, and true, they are not generally exported and production is small, and the locals like to drink Swiss wine, although 62 percent of the wine consumed in Switzerland comes from abroad, according to April 2011 federal statistics.
A key reason why the wines are not exported is that most producers are too small to be well positioned to export. I’ve discussed exports, in the past week, with four producers who do sell abroad, and they are keen to expand. Even with the Swiss franc at its current high, mid- to high-range quality Swiss wines are sold at very competitive prices compared to similar quality products from other European wine-producing countries. Exports account for less than 1 percent of Swiss wine production, but they increased from 18.8 hl to 20.2 hl, from 2009 to 2010, and with larger producers gradually adding smaller vine parcels and increasing capacity, this figure will inch up.
Hl equals hectolitre, a measure used by the international wine industry to measure production, imports and exports. A hectolitre equals 100 litres; a standard bottle of wine is .75 litres.