Rouvinez Vins Sierre Dole de Sierre 2007
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.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.