Getting back to wine work for me meant a weekend with three days of wine judging in Sierre, canton Valais, at the Mondial des Pinots. Pinot Noirs, of course, but we also judged rosés and blanc de Pinots, as well as Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris wines. In addition to judging we were taken on Swiss cultural visits that included a Matisse exhibit in Martigny at the Gianadda centre, a Lake Geneva boat trip with shifting weather on the beautifully restored CGN steamboat La Suisse, a brief and rainy walk around Montreux, a visit to the beautiful Maison Blanche in Yvorne to visit the cellar and compare a 2014 with a 2009 Chasselas, and a 5-terroir raclette lunch at the Chateau de Villa in Sierre.
Many thanks to the organizers, who did a fine job, and to my fellow judges from several countries, whose company made the hard work (and it is!) worthwhile.
I was lucky to share the same table all three days with four top professionals: Jean-Luc Berger, retired technical director at France’s Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin, Swiss wine producers Gerard Carrupt and Diego Mathier, wine writer and trainer Hélène Dion from Quebec, Canada. We had lively discussions about many of the wines – the quality overall was very good – but only once we had each privately noted the wine on our computers. In the end we all extended our vocabularies so we can now describe some aspects of wines in two varieties of French, English and Swiss German.
Then we’d take a break from Pinot Noir to sample fine Petite Arvine and Chasselas wines to clear the palate. Nice!
Here are some of the photo highlights: