This fun 5 hour tour will be an exploration into the heart of the Lavaux wine region, on the sunny north shore of Lake Geneva, (officially known as Lac Leman), a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural landscape of vineyards. The area has the country’s highest concentration of Michelin stars, so it’s not surprising that food and wine tourism are popular here.
You'll find sweeping views of the Alps forming the skyline, and sumptuous Belle Epoch properties overlooking the lake. Most important though, you'll find mile after mile of neatly striped hillsides covered in ripening wine grapes.
In places, the vineyards rise directly from the water's edge, climbing steeply up to 1000ft (300m) at gradients of 90 degrees, where terraces have been excavated. When combined with the backdrop of the lake and alpine peaks, these sites make for some of the most dramatic (and labour-intensive) vineyard locations in Europe. With over 400 kilometers of ancient walls, 10,000 terraces spread over 40 different levels, the production process and character of wines produced is unique.
In this relatively small area are six wine regions and 28 controlled appellations of origin (DOC), and although they are rarely found outside of Switzerland, the wines consistently win in world wine competitions. Production in the region is significant but the majority is consumed within Switzerland.
As is standard for the Vaud region, the white wines made in Lavaux, which stretches from Lausanne until the Castle of Chillon in Montreux, are dominated by Chasselas, followed by red wine including Pinot Noir and Gamay. There is also a small quantity of Pinot Gris plus about half as much of both Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. An interesting change is taking place in that the ratio of red to white has increased significantly in the past decade. In the early 1980s, nearly 70% of all Swiss wine was white (made mostly from Chasselas).
While visiting the Lavaux region and in tasting its wines, you will come to understand how the geography, geology and climate produce a unique wine culture. You will learn how Chasselas is made, how to distinguish the characteristics of the native grape varietals. You will enjoy these wines in a tradional “carnotzet”, a room beside the wine cellar, where guests gather to sample the cellar wine or even outside admiring the dazzling lake of Geneva.
During our brief trip in our air-conditioned van our guide will discuss the wine making of the area, its history and evolution so you have a general understanding of the region. We’ll have time for some stunning photo opportunities as well.
Our second stop will be in a very historical winery over 400 years old, offering a majestic surrounding situated in the heart of the Lavaux wine region.
Will continue our trip by enjoying the culinary delights of Switzerland and either having lunch or gourmet picnic food platters overlooking the lake.
Throughout the trip we will have the opportunity to enjoy the various wines of Lavaux. You’ll start with the classic of the region: Chasselas, which is mostly vinified to be sometimes fruity, mineral or even honey type flavoured. We’ll enjoy samplings of other select Lavaux white wines and eventually sample red wines to include the Gamay – Pinot Noir. a red-wine blend of two Burgundian grape varieties popular in western Switzerland and better known as “Dole”.
During the tastings we may discuss how to taste wines or how to read the label - or any questions that you may have...
The trip goes back in a leisurely mode, so you can enjoy the views of the shimmering water and the Alps in the distance or just relax before the tour ends back at your hotel.
- Private multilingual wine guides in English, French or German. (Other languages available on request)
- Generous wine tastings
- Lunch or gourmet picnic food platters overlooking the lake
- Chocolate & wine tasting
- Cellar visits
- Luxury transportation
- Official handbook on Lavaux vineyard terraces
- And more
- Departure from Montreux, Vevey or Lausanne. Hotel pick-up possible.
- Time of tour: Minimum 5 hours
- Minimum attendance for each tour to run: 2 people
- Cost of tour: CHF 195 p.p. (based on 6 person occupancy), CHF 285 p.p. (based on 4-5 person occupancy), CHF 600 p.p. based on 2 person occupancy)