A vigorous and adaptable vine from Burgundy, Chardonnay grows pretty much everywhere that wine is made. Although production is not so high in Switzerland, award-winning wines have come out of Geneva, Valais, and Neuchâtel.
A classic international variety, Cabernet Sauvignon is marginally cultivated in Geneva, Vaud, Valais, and Ticino. With changing climate there are growers, at least in Zurich, planting Cabernet Sauvignon. Besides being vinified as a varietal, it is blended with other Bordeaux grape varieties, or with old Valais varieties.
Aligoté, a crossing of Pinot noir and Gouais blanc, originates from Burgundy and spread throughout France. It’s cold tolerant and ripens early, but is susceptible to fungal disease.
Called “Plant du Rhin” when it was brought to Geneva in the early 1900s, it is now something of a specialty in Geneva giving us an acidic, refreshing wine. It can be drunk young.
When blended, Aligoté adds acidity and structure to a wine.