Winners list now available
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The wines that won gold and silver medals at the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse (GPVS), the Swiss wine national competition, have been announced, an exciting collection of wines from around the country. I’ve been skimming the list of gold medal winners and there are some truly beautiful wines among them.
You can find the complete list of gold and silver winners on the Vinea web site Wednesday and soon on the site for the GPVS.
Vinea, which organizes the competition – 3,000 wines from 550 producers – notes that
“This year, and for the first time, the finalist wines – the first six in each of the 12 categories – will be submitted to a panel of well-known national and international specialists. The comparative tasting session with these experts will decide the final rankings of the finalist wines (first, second and third places) for each category. The winners and those awarded special prizes (Bio and Vinissimo Blanc, Vinissimo Rouge) will be named at the Gala des Vins Suisses dinner, 29 October in Bern. The much-coveted title of “Swiss Winery of the Year 2015” will be given during the Gala evening.”
I was a judge at the GPVS in June but since we blind-taste we never know which wines we actually noted, so I’m as curious as anyone else to see where the finalists but also the gold winners, in particular, come from. For now, the list has been released to journalists, but it’s not yet on line; once it is I will provide the link.
The basics of the competition, in a press release this noon from the Vinea Association:
“The event involved 170 wine judges from Switzerland and abroad. The judges selected the best among 400 Chasselas variety wines, 610 other single-grape white wines, 380 Pinot wines, 325 other single-grape red wines and 170 Merlot wines. Blends were also numerous: 340 reds and 100 whites … [the GPVS has 12 categories in total, so also] Gamay, Riesling-Sylvaner, wines with residual sugar, sparkling wine and rosés.”
Valais, the largest wine-producing region, had the most medals, not surprisingly, with nearly 38%, followed by Vaud, the second-largest region with 23%, Zurich 6%, Ticino nearly 6%, Geneva more than 4.5% and Neuchatel just under that share. Every wine region in the country has winning wines this year. Single-grape (varietal) white wines were the largest category, with 31%, again not surprising, given that Switzerland is home to an extraordinary number of grape varieties, many of them white, that are used to make wines to show off the remarkable terroirs. This is a small country, but all you need to do is look around you at the geographic variety and micro-climates, and this treasure chest of beautiful wines produced on a small scale makes sense.
The single-grape whites category doesn’t include Chasselas, which account for 13% of the medals, nor Riesling-Sylvaner, nearly 4%, nor white blends, also about 4% – and many of the sweet wines. The famous Valais late harvest wines, for example, fall into this latter category. Merlot continues to be a winner for many Ticino wineries, and Chasselas for Vaud, but each of these grapes is now being grown successfully in other areas – Chasselas in Thurgau, for example, and Merlot on the heights above Lake Geneva.
The list of silver-medal winners is particularly useful for anyone looking for wineries that consistently produce good wines, for here you find the cellars with several prizes.