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Zurich

Whether on the shores of Lake Zurich, in the Limmat valley or in Winterthur's wine country: the wine landscapes of the canton of Zurich offer diversity and wines of exceptional quality.

Geography

With 613 hectares of vineyards, the canton of Zurich is the biggest wine region in German-speaking Switzerland. It is split into five regions: Zürichsee, Limmattal, Winterthurer Weinland, Zürcher Unterland and Zürcher Weinland.In the smallest region, Limmattal, wine is grown on an area of 32 hectares, whilst the biggest region is Zürcher Weinland (218 hectares) in the district of Andelfingen, with Stammertal, Kohlfirst, Flaachtal Irchel and Thurtal. Unterland (146 hectares) stretches from Zurich airport via Rafzerfeld to the banks of the Rhine. The city of Winterthur is the gateway to the Zürcher Weinland region, and there are around 80 hectares of vines in the district. With 138 hectares of vines and the Räuschling grape variety, the urban Zürichsee region produces traditional speciality wines. In 2012, just under three million litres of wine were pressed in the canton of Zurich. Measured in terms of the canton's population, this was almost enough for three bottles of wine per head.

Terroir

Fertile, permeable soils, with varying proportions of chalk and clay depending on the region. More important than the soils are factors such as gradient and microclimate. Zurich vines like to cling to steep slopes close to river valleys and lakes. The water provides a good microclimate and stores heat.

Varieties

Zurich AOC wines are pressed from ten varieties. The red varieties are Pinot noir, Regent, Gamaret, and Garanoir. The white varieties are Riesling x Silvaner, Räuschling, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Sauvignon blanc and Gewürztraminer.

Style

Whether a juicy, acidic Räuschling or a subtly spicy Riesling x Silvaner, Zurich white wines are fresh and easy to drink. Pinot noir is the canton's star variety, with a diversity that reflects this. Whether delicately fruity and elegant or concentrated and robust, there’s the perfect red for any occasion. The vintners make skilful use of the barrique to bring forth the full character of the Pinot noirs.

Best age for drinking

  • Up to 3 years for white wines
  • 3-5 years for delicately fruity red wines
  • 5-10 years for top Pinots from good vintages