Switzerland: Winemaking

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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The essential stylistic difference between Swiss wine and that of neighbouring Germany and Austria is that acidity is seen as an evil rather than a virtue and malolactic conversion is routinely practised. The resulting softness in Swiss wine is emphasized by the additional alcohol provided by chaptalization. This prefermentation sugar addition has been almost de rigueur for many Swiss wines, although the practice is unnecessary in much of the Valais and the Rhine Valley, and is declining elsewhere. Ordinary wines may have their alcohol content increased by up to 3%, although Swiss consumers are increasingly favouring lighter, drier wines.