Monday, July 13, 2015

Tasting Swiss at Morgenhof

Lynne belongs to a group called Women in Wine and, through their Facebook site, we learned of the visit of a group of Oenology students from Changin Haute Ecole de Viticulture et Oenology in Geneva who are here on an exchange visit. They had brought some wines from the different cantons and wine wards in Switzerland and were keen to share them at a tasting with people in the wine industry. Lynne, having skied in Switzerland a few times in the past, is familiar with some of these wines but was very keen, as was John, to see what they are producing now. We took along two bottles of good SA wine for the students to taste, and an evening of exchanging wine culture and fun ensued
Morgenhof had generously donated their event room for the tasting
Some of the wines we tasted. A Petite Arvine from the Valais area, caramel toffee, honey and some spicy sweetness with good balance. SF25. A Merlot from Peissy, Geneva from Domaine de Trois Etoile full of cassis leaves and fruit, with violets, good wood and intense flavours and layers. A biodynamic La Colombe Chasselas which has partial malolactic fermentation. Floral peaches with a tongue tingle as they add CO2 to compensate for lack of acid. SF15. We also tasted some wines that the students helped to make at the college. An interesting Gamaret from Gland (a new grape variety for us) full of wild red berries, with a Gamay palate. SF18. And a Sauvignon Blanc given skin maceration, full of cats pee and granadilla with some caraway on the nose, crisp balanced acidity with capsicum, granadilla and dill - this was made by their lecturers. SF17
The Auvernier Pinot Noir is from Neufchatel and is biodynamic and traditionally made. It was herbaceous, sappy and green with hints of kelp on the nose. and silky light and herbaceous with raspberries salt iodine and cherries on the palate. Approximately SF21. We also tasted a creditable Viognier from Domaine de Trois Etoiles, full of peaches and even some liquorice notes
Some of the students. We were intrigued to learn that Switzerland does not have to export its wine as they can only produce half the quantity required for their population. They currently consume 2.75 million litres a year. The rest is imported from neighbouring countries like France, Italy and Germany
Each student presented one wine, told us about the area it came from, the climate, the grapes and how they make it and described the wine. We also had a slide show and it was very informative
and a lot of fun
It was a good crowd and there was enough wine to go around. This was ably organised by Anne Bullen Alessandri who has been shepherding the students around the local wine world. This is a French student studying at the college
The students line up to do their presentations
We sat around the fire
and met some lovely students, both local and from Switzerland
After the tasting some substantial canapés were provided
and the students made some presentations to the organisers from Stellenbosch University. Anne is on the left
Chatting to Professor Roland Riesen from Changins Haute Ecole who travelled with the students
One of the most interesting wines was presented by a student from Corsica. It was the Clos Culomba 2014 Vermentino by Etienne Suzzoni and smelled of the Corsican maquis, full of herbs with crisp acidity and layers of white grapes with a kick of Muscat. Very refreshing
Discussion over canapés, with wine. It was a super tasting; thank you to all concerned. We know the students are being taken all over the Cape to experience different farms, terroirs, wines and wine making methods. We heard from them that they are loving the experience
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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