The outdoor Vinea Wine Fair is this weekend in Sierre, one of your best opportunities to sample a good range of Swiss wines, with some 150 producers present from around the country. Weather forecast: just about perfect, with temperatures of 13 to 29C and sunny Friday, some cloud cover and 14 to 28C Saturday.
The fair opens this afternoon under white tents on the main street of Sierre. Friday, hours 15:00-20:00 and Saturday 11:00-19:00, with the “After” party (pay for your drinks) continuing until 23:00. Entry is CHF30 for a glass (hold onto it!) that you use throughout the day to taste wines at the many stands. The entry fee covers the After party, which is CHF10 if you go to only that.
A special offer for anyone taking in both the wine fair and a visit to Crans-Montana, where the European Masters golf tournament is on this weekend: CHF35 for a ticket for bus or funicular + Vinea, and you can buy them directly on the buses (extra ones are running this weekend) or funicular.
Please consider visiting the fair by using the train, rather than driving: schedules, in English, for the CFF/SBB
You’ll find 73 individual wineries and another 80 taking part as members of associations – Clos Domaines et Châteaux, Mondial du Chasselas, Schaffhauser Blauburgunderland, Ticinowine, Sion – Capitale des Vins, Les Grands Crus du Valais. The five wineries that were named Wineries of the Year at the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse are also there.
There are many ways to go about sampling the wines, with so many on offer; I’ll be looking for a particular group of red wines I think are special, having focused on whites at Monday’s Memoire & Friends event in Zurich.
A don’t-miss part of the Sierre fair for everyone is the chance to taste winners from two key competitions, the Mondial des Pinots and the Mondial des Merlots. Expect some beautiful wines!