Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Daniel and Martha do all of the vineyard and cellar work themselves, by hand. Together, they farm six hectares (15 acres) of vineyards, about 500 meters above sea level on the scree slopes of the northern Alps. Most of the vineyards (about 12.5 acres) are planted densely with Pinot Noir clones from Burgundy. The rest is planted with Chardonnay, as well as a tiny parcel of Riesling, planted with vines sourced from the Mosel.
Gantenbein Pinot Noir is carefully harvested by hand and fermented in custom-built, open-top wood fermenters, typically with 20% whole clusters. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barriques. The wines are bottled after 12 to 14 months in barrique, without filtration or fining. Even in a good vintage, the yields are quite low — only about 1.5 tons per acre, for an average production of about 1,200 cases of Pinot Noir and about 200 cases of a fine, mineral-focused Chardonnay.
Enhancing quality and diversity of wine grapes in recent years after the Swiss government lifted import controls on wine, Switzerland is beginning to gain some ground aside its European neighbors. While its main variety is the white Chasselas, more than half of Switzerland’s wine production is red. The country has 15,000 ha of vineyards mainly in the cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, Ticino, Valais and Vaud.