The wine regions: Eastern cantons

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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In the 17 German-speaking cantons of Switzerland are 2,600 ha/6,425 acres of vines, ranging from 0.2 ha in Nidwald to more than 600 ha in the canton of Zürich. Schaffhausen, effectively an outcrop into south baden in Germany, has nearly 500 ha of vines. Here in eastern Switzerland nearly 80% of production is red wine, particularly the rot-resistant Mariafeld and 2–45 clones of Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir) and, to a lesser extent, the crosses Gamaret and Garanoir developed locally at the changins viticultural research station. Räuschling is once again gaining ground in Limmatal and on the shores of the lake south of Zürich, where Blauburgunder is often labelled Clevner. Riesling–Sylvaner (Müller-Thurgau) is the dominant white grape variety of eastern Switzerland, while Completer is a local speciality of Bündner Herrschaft near the border with Austria and Liechtenstein in Graubünden, where a small quantity of sweet Freisamer and serious red wine, mainly Blauburgunder, is also produced. Donatsch, Fromm, Gantenbein, and Schlossgut Bachtobel are some of the most effective producers.