What is it about being in vineyards that evokes our desire to try our hand at becoming a vintner? It is possible that the love of vineyards is somehow in our blood. Robert is a California native and his parents currently reside close to the Santa Ynez Valley. I spent nine years living in the Bay Area and though didn’t frequent Napa or Sonoma that often as a child; somehow, the charm of vineyards has crept into our core and made us always appreciate their presence. If you don’t believe us on this one, take sometime to walk through or just go to a local vineyard and try not to be captivated by the mystique of the grape.
A few weekends ago, with a lovely forecast on the horizon and fall being at her ultimate peak, we decided to take the local tram (the public transportation in this small country is brilliant) and go to Muttenz, Switzerland. Muttenz is a small, charming village that sits just 9 minutes outside of Basel. With wonderful hiking opportunities, a plethora of hiking and biking trails, farms, a vast array of wildlife and home to stunning vineyards, this is a location we can easily spend a day exploring and that is just what we did.
Meandering through vineyards, our son sneaked a grape or two to determine how the year fared. With no agenda other than to be in nature, and enjoy the scenery, we took our time and discovered horses, sheep, and the multitude of colors that only vineyards can provide. Children were happy, which made for very happy parents.
We must admit, we don’t know that much about wine, but after spending time in the “old world” we are anxious to learn more. The science behind creating wine is intriguing and we are fortunate enough to live close to some beautifully amazing vineyards in the Basel, Biel, or Alsace regions. We still have so much to explore!
On a final note, we have come to realize that Switzerland is not necessarily known for creating delectable wines – the country seems to be better known for its cheese and chocolate – It is consumed more than it is exported.
At the recent Baseler Weinmesse (more on that to come) we learned that the very vineyards we spent a recent weekend visiting won a very prestigious award for creating a noteworthy and very drinkable Pinot Noir. So, go ahead and give those Swiss wines a try, or at the very least, take a nice, slow walk through a vineyard – you won’t be disappointed.
Syngenta Prize, World Champion of Pinot Noirs
Awarded by Syngenta Agro AG
Jauslin Weinbau, Muttenz, Basel, Switzerland
Hohle Gasse Pinot Noir, Muttenz AOC