Friday, July 26, 2013

Zurich, Switzerland

A few days ago I flew into Zurich, Switzerland to start my two months of wine travel. Zurich is home to close friends of mine who are on a work exchange from Toronto. They have generously invited me to stay at their place and make it my 'hub'.... I leave for a few weeks then come back to the comforts of a house (laundry, wifi, printer etc.) Zurich is a terrific location and you can get anywhere in Europe by train, and fast!
I met my girlfriend, Katarina in University and we became fast friends,  including her husband Chris. Years later, I was flattered to be asked to be their children's Godmother, or Kuma, which comes from Katarina's  Croatian background.
From a wine perspective, Switzerland is a wine growing region but not well known. They don't make a lot of it and you rarely see it outside the country. The grapes are hearty cool climate varietals, vinifera and some interesting crosses. For example, Chasselas, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Merlot is found in Ticino which is in the south bordering Italy. Chasselas can be tricky to pick out on a wine label because there are about 4 different names for it. The most common is Fendant, grown in the Western part of the country. Another joy of being in Europe is seeing unique and rare wines from all over Europe in wine shops, restaurants and grocery stores (how convenient!).
Enjoy the photo show below, full of Swiss wines and scenes of Zurich. I will be writing after I explore the Port Lodges of Oporto, Portugal this Sunday!!

Only one piece of luggage!:) Of course its too heavy to carry....

My Level 2 ISG instructor told our class about this Restaurant, its a must see and ask to visit the wine cellar in the basement.

Sample of some white wines available at the Wine Loft

1st Swiss wine of the trip - Humagne Blanche

I've never seen this before - Muskateller from Austria

A Chasselas from Epesses, located near Lake Geneva: oily and weighty texture

Never had a Gamaret or Garanoir. Gamaret is cross of Gamay and Reichensteiner and Garanoir is a sibling of Gamaret.

Informative wine labels from the Co-op Grocery Store. Note the Swiss flag and next to it is the flag of the Canton from where the grapes are from: Wallis/Valais in the south west part of the country.

Cornalin, also known as Rouge du Pays. Typically requires some aging

This is a rose made from Blauburgunder, also known as Pinot Noir

Fendant: Chasselas from the Valais Region

I introduce you to the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gamay = Dole

Dezaley: Chasselas from the Vaud Canton in the North West
The grape Cannonau from the Italian island Sardegna. Another rare find!

Merlot from Ticino
Another Chasselas, from Fechy in Vaud
This is one of the coolest things I saw today. Its a dessert wine made from a grape called Zibbibo from the island Pantelleria in the Sicilian Strait, Italy. Pantelleria is also the home of capers.
This extremely rare wine is the Second coolest thing I saw today. Valtellina (Nebbiolo grapes) is a tiny wine region growing in the Northern part of Italy, Lombardy region. It is surrounded by the Alps and I will be there the first week of September:)
Lake Zurich with Marcus and Lilly
Ella at Lake Zurich Beach

Kuma in Lake Zurich, over 30*C
Zurich Haufbanhof

Alpine Scenery
Alpine Hike at Uetliberg
After a hot day at Lake Zurich, this hits the spot and will disappear quickly!!! The grape is called Txakoli (pronounced Cho-coli). This wine has a light effervescence, dry and low in alcohol. It comes from the  Basque area of Spain.

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