Wine in Switzerland
Switzerland is a small producer country by volume, but the quality of its wines is undeniable. Surprisingly, they are drunk almost exclusively within the country – the Swiss drink virtually all the wine they make! Ranked as the world’s 4th largest consumer country for per capita consumption (33 litres), it is a low-key yet powerful European market. The Swiss are among the most enthusiastic wine drinkers in the world, they have a wine culture and a high disposable income.
2019 promises to be a landmark year for the Swiss wine industry, as the country will also host the General Assembly of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the Fête des Vignerons, which has been held just five times a century since 1797 in Vevey.
2019 promises to be a landmark year for the Swiss wine industry
Vines have been grown in Switzerland since the Roman Empire. According to 2018 data from the International Organisation of Vine & Wine, the country ranks 20th worldwide for wine production, accounting for 0.4% of global output. Estimates for Swiss wine production in 2018 are in the range of 110 million litres of wine.
More than 32% of wines drunk in Switzerland are home-grown, with imports making up 60%. In 2016, the country imported 185 million litres of wine, divided between 123 million litres of red, 39 million litres of white and 22 million litres of sweet and sparkling wine. The primary sources for imports are Italy (74 million litres or 40%), France (39 million litres or 21%), Spain (32 million litres or 17%) and Portugal (11 million litres or 6%).
Magnificent terraced vineyards create unique ecosystems
Aigle, the capital of Chasselas
Located in the heart of the Chablais, in the foothills of the Vaud Alps, the vineyards of Aigle cover 135 hectares. Eighteen winegrowers produce Aigle Chablais AOC wine.
Most of the vineyards are planted to Chasselas, the grape variety on which the reputation of Aigle wines was founded in the Middle Ages. The traditional red varietals are Gamay and Pinot Noir. The glacial moraine soils, coupled with the microclimate created by the foehn wind, imbue Chasselas with the quintessential distinguished touch which has made the appellation famous.
Another of Aigle’s defining features is its magnificent terraced vineyards whose impressive walls create unique ecosystems for various protected species. Heat stored during the day in the walls provides a unique microclimate for the vines which promotes ripening.