UK restaurants will be seeing a lot more Swiss wine in the years to come, if Swiss Wine Exporters have anything to say about it. Gilles Besse, president of the Swiss Wine Promotion marketing association, confirmed that the UK on-trade is a focus for the next three to five years.
‘With this group, we want to focus mainly on restaurants, and on gastronomy,’ said Besse. The group, consisting of wineries from all over Switzerland, held a tasting and masterclass at 67 Pall Mall in London yesterday.
While there was the expected quantity and quality of Pinot Noir on show, it was the country’s indigenous varieties that perhaps showed the most potential. ‘The new generation started to plant them about 25 years ago,’ explained Besse. ‘They were almost forgotten.’
Take the Petite Arvine 2015 from Maître de Chais in the Valais region (£17.50, Alpine Wines, 020 3151 3454), for example, citrus and fresh upfront, but with some concentrated riper fruit too, and some chalky minerality giving some great texture and food-friendliness.
On the Pinot Noir front, from the Graubünden region, Georg Fromm’s Village 2015 was a highlight, and great value at £12 (Alpine Wines, 020 3151 3454). This was light, elegant and perfumed, with fresh red fruit and a touch of spice on the silky palate, finishing with some bright redcurrant. His Fidler 2012 was a highlight too, single vineyard and made with Swiss Pinot Noir clones, although somewhat pricier at £30.40.
Other wineries included Provins (Valais), Gialdi & Brivio (Ticino), Domaine de Montmollin (Neuchâtel), Luc Massy (Vaud, Lavaux) and Domaine les Balisiers (Geneva).