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The leading type here for white Swiss wines is Riesling x Sylvaner (Miiller-Thurgau), and the lead blue grape is Pinot Noir. Blue grapes account for at least 70% of all the vines planted. Other varieties can be found here and there in small amounts. The Rauschling is a speciality white of Zurich and the Limmat valley, which is beginning to attract more attention. You may also encounter some Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris (often named Tokayer here), Freisamer, Ebling, Chardonnay, Chasselas, Completer (in Grisons). The choice with blue grapes is more limited. You may find some new varieties such as Gamaret and B 28 (both Gamay x Reichensteiner). Ostschweiz can be subdivided for ease into three areas of the west (Berne (Thunersee), Unterwalden, Uri, Lucerne, Zug, Aargau, Solothurn, and Basle), the centre (Schwyz, Glarus, Zürich, Thurgau, and Schaffhausen), and the east (Grisons, St. Gallen, and Appenzell).

 

RIESLING X SYLVANER SWISS WINE

The label bears the name of the canton or the commune of the wine’s origin. There are countless and varied local types of these Swiss wines with their individual tastes and style but they are generally fresh, fruity (somewhat like Muscat), and elegant. Drinking temperature for this Swiss wine is 8-12°C/46.4-53.6°F (the lighter the wine the cooler it is drunk).

 

BLAUBURGUNDER/CLEVNER SWISS WINE

Ostschweiz cellarThis Swiss wine is made from Pinot Noir grapes throughout Ostschweiz. They vary widely from very light and fruity to firm and full of tannin. The best Pinot Noir generally come from the Rhine valley in Grisons and St. Gallen, where this Swiss wine is often cask aged in oak barriques. Drinking temperature for this Swiss wine is 12-14°C (53.6-57.2°F) for ‘ordinary’ Blauburgunder/Clevner), and 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F) for cask aged examples from St. Gallen and Grisons.

 

FEDERWEISSER/SCHILLER/SÜSSDRUCK SWISS WINE

The various Pinot Noir (Blauburgunder, Clevner) rosé wines of Ostschweiz are given these poetic names. These are generally extremely fruity, mellow, and elegant Swiss wines that are amenable and comforting. Drinking temperature Swiss wine is 8-12°C/46.4-53.6°F (the fuller the Swiss wine the less it is chilled).

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