Wine Tasting on Lake Zuerich

September 7, 2008
by Silvia


Weinpavillon 2008 in Obermeilen on the 13th and 14th of September 2008

The term terroir is frequently brought up within the world of wine, and talked about as if it were the great mysterious secret in defining wine. Everyone uses the term a bit differently, which only feeds its aura. You’ve probably heard it before when listening to wine experts explaining the subtle characteristics of a particular wine, ‘oh yes, the terroir of this vineyard has left a lasting mineral note laced with slate and chalky soil underneath the layers of complex fruit hidden between fine floral notes with just the right touch of French oak.’

Yes, terroir is a great term to use when you want to impress wine drinkers with less knowledge, and this little show is often fully displayed during public wine tastings.

So what does all this have to do with the upcoming Lake Zürich wine tasting? 

The annual Weinpavillon event is an excellent opportunity to sample (for free) the majority of wines produced around the Zürich lake. It is a chance to sample the primary grape varieties around the lake, get to know the best producers and learn a bit about the regional wine characteristics.

The event takes place in Obermeilen (in a car dealers pavilion) during the 13th and 14th of September from 11am until 8pm (6pm on the last day). Admission is free and the location is easy to find, which means there are usually quite a lot of people dropping by to sample a few wines – some of whom will be more than happy to vocalize their analysis. And this brings us back to the question at hand – what does terroir have to do with Zürich wines?

The answer is probably nothing.

The wine production and the area around Zürich is too small to really notice dramatic differences between the vineyards and wines. So, if you do happen to hear anyone talking about the wonderful Zürich terroir…well, it’s probably a bit of BS.

There are, however, some really nice wines to discover.

All of the major wine producers around the Zürich lake will be on hand. This presents a unique opportunity to move from stand to stand, compare styles and quality and really get to know a particular producer. A strategy which could prove beneficial if you like purchasing your wine directly from the wine maker.

Another wine tasting strategy to consider is simply selecting one of the three main grape varieties and try just that variety from all of the producers. Räuschling is certainly one variety to consider, because it is a rare variety which is virtually exclusive to the Lake Zürich region. The second grape variety is the overly-cultivated Riesling x Sylvaner (also more correctly referred to as Müller-Thurgau – but please, don’t use this term within the canton of Zürich). There are some producers around Zürich who are taking some chances with this variety and turning it into an interesting wine. If red is what you like, then you will mostly taste Pinot Noir (referred to here as Blauburgunder – or very locally as Clevner). Styles of Blauburgunder vary from light to more robust, barrel-aged wines.

If you attend and don’t have any particular agenda or strategy and would instead like to enjoy the wine and the effects of alcohol, then we would encourage the use of public transportation.

Further information about that region and wines from Zürich in general are available on the Zueriseewi website or the Zuercherwein web site (both sites are only in German).

You can also visit our own web site if you would like to read more about Swiss wine.