Lavaux Wine Tasting

Post by Lauren

The Lavaux wine region is definitely a place you should see in your lifetime. On our first trip to Switzerland we took a day trip to Montreux, and I remember driving through this area with my mouth wide open in awe.

 

This particular time was in the winter, but is truly beautiful any time of year. See the Schwingen in Switzerland blog for a recount on spending a summer day in Lavaux. I had the pleasure of hiking* in the Fall as well and it was gorgeous:

 

 

 

When The Captain and Swiss Miss were here, they had wanted to hike in Lavaux; however, the Geneva record low temperatures prevented us from doing so. Nonetheless, we still took the train from Geneva to Rivaz to check out the wine cellar, Vinorama.

Vinorama is cut into the side of the Lavaux countryside. It offers “dégustations” (tastings in French) of different Lavaux varieties. It also has a wine store offering hundreds of Lavaux bottles .

Vinorama

 

During our visit, they showed us a short film about the region’s wine production. It was incredibly well done, depicting the ups and downs of a local farmer throughout the year. This helped to bring personality to this special region and to understand how hard it is to farm the land.

The primary reason Lavaux is special are its terraces. They are steep, staggered, and require a lot of maneuvering on the part of the wine workers. I have seen similar ones in Cinque Terre in Italy, but no where else in the world have I seen anything like it. It takes incredibly hard work to farm that land – both in the upkeep on a slanted slope and transportation of the grapes in the harvest. And they have been doing it since the 11th Century.

The film explained that it is the terrace that affects the taste of the wine. The heat from its walls warms the earth underneath the vines. This as well as the sun’s reflection off of Lake Geneva bodes well for the grapes.

Vinorama offers tastings in white, red and combinations. The tasting that we did included the following:

Epesses – La braise d’enfer
Vilette – Clos du roches
Domaine Moulin la Vignette Lutry
Lettres des Noblesse (malbec/cab) st saphorin
Epesses plant robez blaise duboux

My favorite was hands down the Lettres des Noblesse. However at 40 CHF per bottle, it didn’t make it into our cellar on that particular day.

A few days after our trip, my French tutor and I were discussing the Lavaux region. She is French and advised that of course, any agriculture product in Switzerland is very expensive. I totally agree with that statement. The terraced type of farming and harder labor can’t lend to an economical product. However, with the magic that can be found here in Lavaux, I’d also say that their wine is certainly worth it.

 

*For hiking: we got off the train at St. Saphorin and walked to the Lutry station. It was four hours and we had magnificent views every step of the way. This of course could be shortened or you could do the wine stop as we did.

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Gratitude Friday: Autumn in Switzerland

Post by Lauren

This Friday, I just wanted to express my gratitude for Autumn in Switzerland. Since our house hunting fell in Winter and our move in Spring, Fall is the last season that I have yet to see. It was worth the wait…..

 

Bon weekend, everyone!

 

Friday Hikes in the Swiss countryside

Post by Lauren

I had taken a sabbatical from Friday hikes for awhile because of my feet, but started back up for the past two weeks. I absolutely love the views walking in the countryside, so was grateful for time outdoors. Here are a few snapshots :

AVUSY, a 50 minute bus ride from center city Geneva:

 

GLAND to ROLLE, a 15-20 minute train from Geneva’s main station:

The great news is that between this and Burgundy last weekend, I have a lot more painting inspiration. I hope people like vineyards 🙂

Gratitude Friday: Swiss Water

Post by Lauren

One of my favorite things about Switzerland is the abundance of free yummy water.

Whether you are in an urban area, a small town, or the middle of the countryside, you are sure to find a babbling spout, as can be seen below. You can easily fill your bottle up no matter where you are.

In the US we have things like this but you wouldn’t dare drink out of it. However, here is is 100% safe and super tasty. I have been told the water supply is monitored three times a day to monitor for any abnormalities. From the swissworld site, they quote:

The drinking water that comes out of Swiss taps is as pure as bottled mineral water – and 500 times cheaper.

In a country where everything is expensive, I am grateful for this natural perk.

Bon weekend, everyone!

 

Gratitude Friday: Travel

Post by Lauren

An easy gratitude selection this week. We have T in town from the US. We just returned today from a great overnight trip to Bernese Oberland where we explored the valleys, stayed in a peaceful Alp town, and scaled the mighty majestic Schilthorn. So, simply, this week, I am thankful for our ability to travel here. So many parts of this beautiful world are close and accessible to us during our time here. We are grateful for this opportunity and hope to make the most of it!

Here are some snapshots from the past two days:

Gimmelwald, Bernese Oberland

Murren, Bernese Oberland

Ascending to the Schilthorn with views of the Monk, Eiger and Jungfrau

Bon weekend, everyone!

Mr. Edible

Post by Lauren

If you love animals, you might want to stop here.

So, as a beginner in French, our first week here, I took notice of a menu posted on the street with “cheval”.

 

“Hmm” I commented to Gabe, “ I thought that cheval meant horse! Ha, my French is really awful….Rosetta Stone really didn’t pay off, huh?”

A few weeks later, I saw it again. It must be some sort of goat cheese…..like fromage de chèvre. Sort of sounds the same, right?! So, thirsty for French knowledge, I looked it up.

Oh no.

And, I found that I was accurate the first time.

Yup, as confirmed by the meat labels in our local store, people here like to eat Mr. Ed.

Riding or eating. Either will work!

I was shocked and brought it up on our next women’s hike. My friend M noted that usually this is served prior to fondue, as a dried meat. Bleccccck!!!!


Horse steaks on sale in Carouge!

If you don’t believe me, check out the little animals on the packages they have at the Co-op to help people identify the meats. I should dedicate a Gratitude Friday to these labels so that I haven’t mistakenly eaten horse.

Speaking of mistakes, when we were in Chamonix a few weeks ago, I was eating the dried meats they served with raclette until I remembered M’s fondue advice mid-bite of a really tough piece.

Getting upset thinking about what I might be eating

Don’t worry, we asked the waitress and it was a false alarm – all jambon, or ham. I couldn’t eat any more after that though.

My first Swiss Painting

Post by Lauren

So, you may have noticed on our post about our new home that our water closets have an “interesting” tile color.

I took some inspiration from the Friday hikes I do with the American International Women’s Club to try to improve the situation. Two weeks ago, we hiked through some wheat fields from Jussy to Vesenaz and some of the natural yellows in the wheat fields and paths were similar to our the bathroom. So, I figured it might help our visitors not concentrate on the tile-work. Let me know what you think on the “match”.

Also, I thought you might want to check out a few photos from the hike that provided this inspiration and also see the faces of some of the wonderful women who have helped me feel more at home here in Geneva.