Why Switzerland? This is s a question we’re frequently asked. For starters, it’s the birthplace of the Rhône, and the […]Keep Reading
This is s a question we’re frequently asked. For starters, it’s the birthplace of the Rhône, and the Rhine for that matter, so it is the headwaters of two of the world’s great wine rivers. Add to that its naked beauty, complex terroirs, and a bewilderingly complex riot of grape varieties, and we ask in return:
How could we not?
There are also personal roots to our love of Switzerland since it is where Daphne Glorian spent most of her summers as a child and her family still owns a small châlet there. Twice each year, once in summer and once in winter, Eric and Daphne spend a week in Switzerland, usually driving there from Gratallops and stopping at their favorite cavistes along the way to stock up for their holiday. In this fashion, they’ve become acquainted with all the top growers in Switzerland, bottle by bottle.
Among those many bottles were many Chasselas. This is not surprising since it is the second most widely planted variety in Switzerland, just behind Pinot Noir. Chasselas is indigenous to the Alpine region – its exact place of birth is still undetermined – and unsurprisingly, when you remove it from home, it doesn’t fare as well. Within Switzerland, it has a remarkable capacity to adapt to and reflect the terroirs in which it is planted. It reaches its zenith in the Grand Crus of Lavaux and its richly dense and profoundly mineral wines. If the architecture of Chasselas in Lavaux is Baroque, in the Valais and along the southwestern shores of Lac Léman it is Roccoco – playful, delicate, whimsical and full of joy and light – and the exact style we were searching for when we created L’Alpage the autumn of 2019.
L’Alpage is the quintessential white wine to slake one’s thirst after a day of skiing or mountaineering, the perfect wine to have with raclette or cave-aged Gruyère, the very calling cards of Switzerland. We were so transported by this wine that we couldn’t think of a more suitable label than something that evokes the Art-Deco Swiss travel posters of the 1930s. The name L’Alpage refers to the mountain meadows where the famed Swiss dairy cows graze in summer. If you need a mental image, they look exactly like the beginning of the Sound of Music minus only the Julie Andrews high belt and twirl.
Initially we launched L’Alpage with a partner in the Valais but in 2020 Eric discovered a plot of Chasselas in the village of Mont-sur-Rolle in La Côte – a singular place with a quintessentially Swiss vista taking in Lac Léman and the Alps. While it might be at some remove from the Alps – merely a quibble of being in them versus having a stunning view of them – this wine checks all our L’Alpage boxes.
A nourishing apperatif? Certainly!
Good after skiing, snowshoeing or hiking? Check!
The perfect foil for Gruyère, Raclette, and Fondue? Check, and triple check!
Comes included with yodeling or showtunes? That’s entirely up to you!