• Lea Gatinois


Château de Vinzel is a 8,5 ha wine estate located in the Vaud wine region in Switzerland. The winemaker, Fabien Monachon, kindly welcomed me last week to show me harvest and winemaking process.

In the vineyard.

Chasselas is the most planted grape variety there, found on the slopes facing Lake Geneva. South-east exposition and reflection from the lake guarantee a good amount of sunlight, needed in this cool continental climate. Traditional training method is in gobelet, especially in the steepest slopes, but trellising is gaining ground because it allows mechanisation for cultivation (ploughing soil to prevent weeds’ development) and leaf removal.

Yield in the vineyard is about 70-80 hl/ha. Grapes here are hand harvested, because some areas are not accessible by machine and whole bunches are preferred to preserve aromas and avoid oxidation until winemaking.

Winemaking process.

Healthy bunches of grapes are quickly brought at the winery to be pressed in a pneumatic press. Grape must then go in stainless steel tanks at cool temperature and undergo clarification to remove gross lees (usually with bentonite). This last about 1 day.

The clear must is then transferred to big oak vessels called foudres, up to 9000L, to undergo fermentation with cultured yeast for about 10 days. The wine will remain in oak for few more months, during which it will undergo malolactic fermentation, adding buttery flavours and texture and making the wine more stable.

It will then be bottle in April to be released for sale, to the great delight of Swiss customers (almost all the wine is consumed locally).

Château de Vinzel Grand Cru 2019, AOC La Côte.

  • Aromas of white flowers, lemon, pear, great minerality and a hint of honey

  • The crispy acidity is well balanced by its buttery texture and good aromas concentration

  • Very elegant wine!