Most of us have heard about Italian and French wines, but I was not aware of Switzerland’s vast wine-growing region. We spent a wonderful day in the country touring the Swiss Lavaux region part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site program. After sightseeing in the cities, this was a pleasant change. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful; these wineries are characterized by their terraced vineyards with views of Lake Geneva while others are suspended on slopes. Many small villages were formed around each winery from the medieval village of Lutry to Montreux. These vineyards cover almost 10,000 acres of the Canton Vaud and offer a wide range of grapes.
Visiting one of the small family-owned wineries is more like entering someone’s home than a business. They are so friendly welcoming you and giving a tour. We sat sipping their different vintages and enjoying tasting local foods. Nearly all the winemaking villages have their own cellars open between Easter and October to present the wines produced in the region.
There are so many choices. Visitors can stroll along the rivers and even take the walking paths for a close-up look at the grapes in the vineyards but the most exciting time to be there the time the workers are harvesting the grapes.
Take a trip into the past.
We took the Lavaux express, a little tourist train on wheels that brought us through the wine grower’s villages and to some of the most interesting vistas in their wine country. When the train stopped on a hill overlooking the lake, everyone had a chance to walk around and taste some of the wines. The Express runs from April to October.
Lunch at the Cafe de la Poste, a charming restaurant specializing in fish was a treat. Their appetizers/ starters included escargot, lobster, mushrooms, and other interesting dishes while lunch and dinner entrees included steak, brochette, and local delicacies. Customers can eat in the sidewalk caf or rustic dining room.
Have an afternoon snack at a farm, or purchase fresh produce and cheese for your own picnic. If you wish to stay awhile in this relaxed atmosphere, try one of their B B; Inns, campgrounds, apartments, or sleep on straw in a barn to really experience rural life. Swiss wine country is located near Vevey and just one hour from the Geneva International Airport.