With its Alpine landscape, Switzerland is not a country that most people would associate with wine. But on the gentle slopes of the northern shore of Geneva Lake, the gentle climate actually offers ideal conditions for growing grapes. White wine is an essential part of local Swiss specialties, cheese fondue and raclette.
The entire region around the city of Lausanne is a patchwork of vineyards. Arguably, the most beautiful among them are the ones in the district of Lavaux, to the east of the city.
The vineyards of Lavaux are over 800 years old. They were first planted by the monks of the local abbey. The whole district is a maze of vineyard terraces built on a steep hillside, overlooking the lake and offering a postcard perfect view of Alps on the other side. The main wine grape variety grown here is the Chasselas. Locals say that grapes here ripen under the “three suns”, direct sunlight, rays reflected off the surface of the lake and heat accumulated in terrace stones.
Lavaux is a UNESCO World Heritage Sites since July 2007. It offers excellent opportunities for hiking and bicycle tours. A jazz festival in the village of Cully is the best time for wine tasting.