Sierre, Valais, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – For the 16th year in a row, Vinea, the main wine fair for Swiss wines, managed to order sunshine for its two days of wine-tasting. This is the first year that the fair, organized originally by Valais winemakers to promote their own wines, has been opened to bottles from throughout Switzerland. Some 1,200 wines were on offer, and more than 10,000 people from around the country showed up to sample them.
Switzerland produces 1.12 million hectolitres of wine, a little over half of which is red wine, and Swiss consumers drink 37 litres per inhabitant a year.
The foreign wine guest of honour was the Colline de Cortons region in Burgundy, France, which brought 2006 bottles from several of its producers, providing a good basis for comparison within the region.
“Coming to Valais has given us a chance to reflect on our points of view, to see that there are good expressions of Pinot outside our own region. It’s like the French language, which belongs to several countries. Wine knows no borders,” says Claude Chapuis, professor and author of reference works on wine.
The Swiss guest of honour was the Association Clos, Domaines & Châteaux from canton Vaud, a group of 20 producers noted for their architectural heritage as well as their high quality wines, which must meet the strict standards of the association’s charter.
Vinea has adoped the motto of “an intelligent approach to wine” and has been emphasizing the educational value of the wine fair. Vinea managing director Elisabeth Pasquier notes with satisfaction that a growing number of young people – the next generation of consumers, are coming to the weekend fest to learn.