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Three Lakes Region

With five cantons, three lakes, and two languages, the Three Lakes Region is an exceptionally diverse wine region. This diversity is reflected in the wines that are produced here. Easy-drinking Chasselas wines and the rosé Œil-de-Perdrix have made the region's reputation.

History

The first mention of winegrowing in the Three Lakes Region concerns the Abbey of Bevaix which is believed to have been given permission to cultivate a vineyard as early as the year 998. Winegrowing here was also shaped by power shifts in the region, from the Kingdom of Burgundy to the German aristocratic houses, through to accession to the Swiss Confederation. It was in the 17th century, at the time of the Thirty Years’ War, that viticulture underwent its biggest expansion here. Indigenous wines are the rosé Œil-de-Perdrix (“partridge’s eye”) and Chasselas which, since the 1970s, has been bottled unfiltered shortly after the harvest, and is designated as “Non filtré”.

Geography

The vineyards in the Three Lakes Region stretch for 50 kilometres along the western shores of Lake Biel. With their highly calcareous Jura soils, the slopes are exceptionally well-suited to winegrowing. The vineyards of Vully are unique, sitting between Lake Neuchâtel and Lake Murten.

Climate

The vineyards benefit from the mild lake climate, with around 1,900 hours of sunshine per year and average annual precipitation of around 1,000 millimetres per square metre.

Wines

Whilst the delicate Chasselas wines are the main event, the chalky slopes produce some first-rate Pinot noirs that can be laid down for some time. The indigenous wines are the Non Filtré (Chasselas) and Œil de Perdrix, a rosé made from the Pinot noir grape.

Grape varieties

Chasselas, Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Sauvignon blanc.

Vineyard area

Around 1,000 hectares, including 595 hectares in the canton of Neuchâtel and 223 hectares on Lake Biel.