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Wine can be grouped in many ways: a common grape variety or shared country of origin is most often employed on wine lists or the shelf. Then of course there are major wine regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy and within them subregions according to villages or vineyard limitations. But these are mainly manmade boundaries drawn on maps and arranged with tractors. Mother nature has her own way of identifying wine regions and this is down to landscape and topography.
The Alpine regions of Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia share much in culture and lifestyle– often more than with their own countries' flatlands. They recognise one another’s traditions, expressions and foods across borders. They face similar viticultural challenges in their rugged mountainous vineyards, and their pristine wines echo the cool and pure sensations of the Alps.
There is of course diversity in this region among different styles, grape varieties, and producers, but in a general way the wines here tend to be nutty, herbal, floral, occasionally oxidative, sometimes oaky, and always brimming with freshness. Alpine wines are rarely exported. The locals love their wine and visiting skiers and hikers are delighted to discover these hidden gems.
I’m delighted to be able to bring you this Alpine selection that features magnificent Swiss wines from the Sierre village of Valais. Switzerland is a premium wine producing country but as much of the wines are consumed domestically there is very little exported, and hardly anything in the UK. It’s thanks to a dear friend from my OIV wine masters, Laine Boswell, that I’ve been able to connect with a brilliant producer, her husband, Olivier Roten, and share these wines with the Mummy Wine Club community.
The Alpine theme grew from there, as I wanted to cover other areas around the Alps. Italian Alp regions like Valle d’Aosta, Valtellina, and Alto Adige, are often over-shadowed by their more famous neighbours Barolo (being just at the foot of the mountains- Piemonte!) and Veneto. And over in France, although Jura wines have become particularly trendy in recent years, together with Savoie there is still much to be discovered here.
I hope you are as impressed with these wines and grapes as I have been. If you’re keen to repurchase any of them come visit the Bottle Shop.
On Tuesday 24th November members are invited to join a Virtual Wine Tasting with with special guests: Olivier Roten and Laine Boswell to learn about Swiss wine.