I really didn’t know that wine was such a big deal in Switzerland.
The House Owner looked at me in some surprise as we drove to the airport for her departure the other week and I asked what “all those things growing in the fields” were. Those are vineyards, dear, she told me in a voice that suggested I should really have known that.
And really, had I done any research at all before coming here, I would have realised that I was coming to live right in the heart of Switzerland’s wine-growing area. The region is called The Lavaux, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hillsides are covered in vast, sprawling vineyards, separated by low stone walls and narrow, winding roads – the further up you go, the narrower and steeper those so-called roads become!
According to Wikipedia’s page on Swiss wine, the reason that I’d never really associated Switzerland with wine (nor indeed even heard of or tasted a Swiss wine) is that they pretty much drink it all by themselves, the greedy sods. “Nearly all the national production is drunk within the national boundaries; less than 2% of the wine is exported (mainly to Germany).”
I have not yet sampled this Swiss wine, but I have now ventured into the vineyards after driving around and past and amongst them on such a regular basis. And let me tell you, they’re mighty impressive. Particularly when there’s the odd chateau or two randomly plonked in the middle of them.
It certainly makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll in the sunshine, anyway!