The wine regions: Vaud

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Switzerland’s second most important wine canton is also in French Switzerland, round the northern shore of Lake Geneva, or Lac Léman (almost everything has at least two names in Switzerland). The canton’s six wine regions are La Côte, Lavaux, and Chablais on the north shore of Lake Geneva, Les Côtes de l’Orbe on the plain between lakes Geneva and Neuchâtel, Bonvillars on Lake Neuchâtel, and Vully on Lake Morat. The canton’s eight appellations encompass the six regions as well as two grands crus: Dézaley in the commune of Puidoux and Calamin in the commune of Epesses. Chasselas accounts for 70% of the production from about 3,800 ha/9.390 acres, although, under the influence of the Vaud’s varied soils, its character can vary from almost insultingly innocuous to an almost pouilly-fumé-like steeliness. In La Côte, the aromatic floral notes of the variety itself tend to dominate the wines. In Yvorne, Aigle, Bonvillars, and Calamin the mineral character of individual soils can easily dominate the fruit, while Dézaley and St-Saphorin often manage to demonstrate both fruit and minerals.