History of Swiss Wine

Switzerland is renowned for its attention to detail and production of superior quality goods such as chocolate and watches - its wine is no different. With a long history of viticulture dating back to 800BC before the time of the Romans when the Celtics occupied the land, Switzerland's winemaking is its best kept secret!

Diversity within Switzerland can be seen through its four national languages, variety in landscapes, climate regions and customs - their wine growing heritage resonates this diversity. Over 250 grape varietals can be found growing on the 15,000 hectares of vineyards owned by 1,500 producers throughout Switzerland, a concentration of genetic diversity that is amongst the highest in the world. 

During the Phylloxera Disaster of the 19th Century, like much of Europe, many of the indigenous vineyards to the region were destroyed. The phylloxera insect pest that is native to North America was brought over to England by botanists who collected specimens of American vines, which destroyed Britain vines and then moved into Europe. Vignerons were faced with the decision to either replant the indigenous vines and risk infection or plant American rootstocks that were resistant to the pest and graft cuttings and create hybridizations. This was a major influence in the diversity of now traditional vines currently being produced in Switzerland as an effort to slow the spread of contamination and prevent it from occurring again.

The excellence of Swiss wine is unbeknownst to many mainly due to the rarity of its exportation. The people of Switzerland consume so much wine (about 38 bottles per person each year) that even what is produced is not enough. About 40% of wine consumed is Swiss and 60% is imported, leaving only about 1% of the wine produced to be exported. The political decision to import wines also influenced the diversity grown today; Switzerland has historically been a white wine producing country so when the country opened up the borders to just red wine importation at first, producers began planting the same varietals and creating new hybrids to keep up with this change. 

Here at Domaine Dardagny Inc we aim to bring well deserved recognition to the world class wines of Switzerland with our exclusive varietals, directly from the family vineyards to your doorstep. 


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