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Photo for: Discovering Swiss Wine: A Journey Through Terroir and Tradition


Discovering Swiss Wine: A Journey Through Terroir and Tradition

Exploring Swiss Wine Promotion's Mission to Showcase Switzerland's Diverse Wine Offerings

Switzerland, often celebrated for its majestic landscapes and precision engineering, is also home to a rich viticultural heritage. The country's unique terroir, characterized by its alpine climate and diverse soils, nurtures a remarkable array of grape varieties. Swiss Wine Promotion, the organization tasked with promoting Swiss wines domestically and abroad, plays a pivotal role in highlighting the country's vinicultural diversity. In this exclusive interview, we talk to Swiss Wine’s Promotional Manager, Jasmin Schmid about Swiss Wine Promotion's efforts to showcase Switzerland's unique wine regions, indigenous grape varietals, and sustainable winemaking practices.

Switzerland boasts a rich viticultural history and diverse terroir. How does Swiss Wine Promotion highlight the unique characteristics of regions like Valais and its indigenous grapes like Chasselas, Cornalin, and Humagne Rouge in its promotional efforts?

Swiss Wine is the organization that promotes all Swiss Wines in Switzerland and abroad. It is important for us to strengthen Swiss Wine as a brand and not a single region. We like to present specialties and wines from all our regions to show the diversity of Swiss wines.

Image: (L-R)Vineyards of Ticino and Vineyards of Valais, Source: Wikipedia

Switzerland is home to many grape varieties, including some lesser-known indigenous varietals. Can you share with us some of the most unique or lesser-known grape varietals, such as Petite Arvine, Completer, or Diolinoir, that Swiss Wine Promotion is focusing on promoting?

As already mentioned, we do not just promote one single variety but Swiss Wine in general. Of course, we love to present our specialties to the public such as Completer, Räuschling, Petite Arvine, and Cornalin for example. These are only some of the unique varieties that can be found in Switzerland.

How does Swiss Wine Promotion support the development and recognition of emerging wine regions within Switzerland, such as the Three Lakes region with its unique varietals like Chasselas and Pinot Noir?

Swiss Wine works closely together with all the Swiss Wine Regions and also supports regional projects of every region. All the regions now use the Swiss Wine identity in their communications which reinforces the brand even more. In Switzerland, every region also has its own promotional organization which is responsible for promoting regional specialties.

Image: (L-R)Red grape varieties growing in Graubünden and Chasselas vines growing in Geneva. Source: Wikipedia

In your opinion, what sets Swiss wines apart from those of other wine-producing countries, and how does Swiss Wine Promotion leverage these unique qualities?

 Switzerland is an alpine Wine Country with great diversity. We have around 280 registered Grape Varieties on a surface of 15,000 hectares, which is definitely something that distinguishes us from other wine countries. The alpine climate has a strong influence on our wines and gives them a freshness that is sometimes hard to find in other wine countries. Also, most of the work has to be done by hand since the steep vineyards won’t allow machine work. Switzerland is a gem in the midst of some of the most famous wine countries in the world.

Image: Switzerland’s winegrowing industry is divided between six regions, Source:

With the rise of the natural wine movement, how is Swiss Wine Promotion responding to the growing interest in natural and organic wines among consumers?

Also in Switzerland, the natural Wine movement is becoming stronger every year. The number of producers that are bio-certified has been rapidly increasing every year. In Switzerland in order to have the Bio-Suisse Label there are very strong regulations and criteria. At the moment about 15% of the wines in Switzerland carry the label Bio-Suisse and there are more every year. Also with the change of generations in winemaking, the production of natural wine has become more and more popular and of course, Swiss Wine supports this development by also supporting promotional activities around this topic.

Sustainability is increasingly important in the wine industry. How does Swiss Wine Promotion work with Swiss wineries to promote sustainable practices and values?

Sustainability is also a very important topic for Swiss Wine. We especially promote the consumption of local wines as opposed to wines from other countries and emphasize that the wines in Switzerland are produced with regard to nature and in good working conditions.

Can you share a success story of a Swiss wine producer or region that has gained recognition or popularity with the help of Swiss Wine Promotion's efforts?

Swiss wine is here to open the doors for producers and to give them the tools and platform to present their work. We are not responsible for the popularity of just one producer because our goal is to strengthen the popularity of Swiss Wine Producers in general. In the end, the wines speak for themselves and our job is that people know they exist. Of course, there are many success stories of Swiss Wine Makers such as Marie-Thérèse Chappaz, Jean-René Germanier, Martin Donatsch, etc. but I would not say that they were successful just thanks to Swiss Wine but by putting Swiss Wines on the map in general we might have opened the doors for them. 

Image: (L-R) Marie-Thérèse Chappaz, Jean-René Germanier and Martin Donatsch

Could you tell us about any upcoming events or projects that Swiss Wine Promotion is excited about?

There are many exciting events that are taking place this year. The month of May is the month of the Open Wine Cellars. Every weekend in May the winemakers open their doors to the public in another region of Switzerland. It is the month to taste Swiss Wines everywhere. In Autumn we have the event “At the heart of the harvest”, where people can experience the harvest with a winery and learn more about winemaking with a hands-on approach. We are also planning several Swiss Wine Weeks in our major export markets. With this concept, we present Swiss wines abroad through different events for one week. The next Swiss Wine Week will be in New York from June 10-16.

What emerging trends do you see in the Swiss wine industry, both in terms of production techniques and consumer preferences?

In terms of production, there is a trend to reinforce the presence of indigenous grapes of Switzerland and to work in the vineyards even more with respect to nature. Organic production will increase over the next few years and there is also a general trend to less intervention in the vineyards and the winemaking process. In terms of consumption, the trend is going towards lighter and fresher wines which is great for Swiss Wines since they generally fit this criteria very well. People are consuming more and more local and regional products in Switzerland which will also strengthen the consumption of Swiss Wine even more in the future.

Image: Swiss Wine Promotion at VINEXPO PARIS 2024

Looking ahead, what are Swiss Wine Promotion's future goals and priorities, particularly in promoting Swiss wines internationally and exploring new markets?

The goals and priorities for Swiss Wine in the future are to gain even more market share with Swiss Wine in the Swiss Market than other countries' market share. We want to strengthen the Swiss Wine Brand even more and enhance the presence of Swiss Wines in Swiss restaurants and retailers. In the export Markets, we plan to continue our project Swiss Wine Week to strengthen the presence of Swiss Wines internationally. Our goal is to stay exclusive since we will never have the production to export large quantities, but being on the map internationally is also very important for the internal market.


Swiss Wine Promotion's dedication to promoting Swiss wines is not just about marketing a product; it's about fostering a deep appreciation for the country's vinicultural heritage and the labor of love that goes into each bottle. As Switzerland continues to make its mark on the global wine stage, Swiss Wine Promotion remains at the forefront, ensuring that the world recognizes and appreciates the exceptional quality and diversity of Swiss wines.

In conversation with Malvika Patel, Editor and VP, Beverage Trade Network

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