GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Vinea opens its doors Friday night 2 September, giving the public a great opportunity to sample 1,500 wines from 150 Swiss wine producers as well as those of the guest of honour, Sicily.
This is not only a fun event, with white tents lining the main street of Sierre for the entire weekend, but it’s Switzerland’s largest outdoor wine festival and for a minimal fee you can have a crash course in Swiss wines or limit yourself and sample the new vintages of your favourite producers.
Some 10,000 people attend every year and the atmosphere is friendly but there is, happily, little drunkenness and with events for children and babysitting services, families are part of the crowd.
New plus features this year
- The roadworks in 2010 that forced the fair to have a less than perfect layout are gone and the fair is back to its usual format, easier for visitors
- Friday night is a special session: this is only the second year it has been open to the public, who have a chance to sample the award-winning wines from the big international competition, the Mondial du Pinot Noir, which were announced 1 September (awards are being handed out 2 September to the winning wineries, in Sierre). The focus is on the group of Vinea partners, various specialized quality groups: canton Vaud’s quality label Terravin, Grands Crus du Valais, (Fully, Vétroz, St Léonard and Salgesch/Salquenen), the Grain Noble ConfidenCiel charter, producers from cantons Geneva, Neuchatel and Ticino, the Clos, Domaines et Châteaux Association, and Cervim, the Aosta-based Centre for Research, Environmental Sustainability and Advancement of Mountain Viticulture.
- the number of producers from outside canton Valais continues to grow; until three years ago this was essentially a Valais affair, but the Vinea Association, which manages a number of important international and Swiss wine competitions, is now a Swiss-wide organization
- A special Saturday session at 11:00 with Gianni Giardina from the Sicilian winemakers association takes place at Chateau Mercier, a beautiful spot on the hillside in Sierre, perfect for sampling and learning more about the warm, hearty wines from the south, which are undergoing a renaissance
- Terravin, the canton Vaud quality label group, is holding a Saturday workshop at 15:00; if you want to sample the best of the up and coming as well as older wine producers in Vaud, this is a wonderful way to do it – and there are some beautiful new wines from Vaud (I’ll be writing about them next week)
Details for the Vinea wine fair
Avenue Général Guisan, city centre, Sierre
Friday 2 September, 17:30-20:30, CHF 30.00
Saturday 3 September, 10:00-17:00, CHF40.00
Sunday, 4 September, 10:00-17 :00, CHF40.00
Ticket for 2 days, CHF60.00
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