Wine from Switzerland I hear you ask? Well, I thought the same when I was planning the trip, but the more I read about the region, the more it piqued my curiosity. The warm sunny region of the Lavaux region is situated along the picturesque postcard shores of Lake Geneva. The region produces wonderful white wines, but only in small batches. Enjoying wine is part of the local culture, so there’s literally none to export. Now that explains why I do not see Swiss wines back home 🙂
We set out on our 3rd day from Montreux (see previous post for the first installment of this 3 part post on Switzerland), hopped on a train, and in under half an hour or less we stopped at Chexbres village, which is in the Lavaux region and has earned a UNESCO world heritage distinction. We really weren’t visiting the area for wine tasting, but rather to explore and find out more about the region.
The train ride alone was a visual treat, winding you up into the vineyards offering you panoramic views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. There’s miles of walking paths through all of the Lavaux region. You can follow the route, or hop on a train that takes you through some medieval villages then jump off the train to explore other areas that thread through the vineyards.
Many of these vineyards are family owned. There are roughly 200 different wineries in Lavaux, some owned by the same family for generations. We also learned that the Benedictine and Cistercian monks produced these wines and built the terraces in the 11th century.
The land rises from the gorgeous blue of the lake, charming farmhouses and terraced vineyards, cordoned off by 250 miles of stone walls that date back to the medieval times. It is purported to be one of the steepest vineyards in the world rising more than 1,100 feet above the lake.
Making our way down to these vineyards, we stumbled on these beautiful buildings and gardens with cobblestones and narrow alleys.
You know how I love flowers, so I stopped and appreciated these beauties from all angles.
We are now where we want to be. The terraced vineyards ahead giving you a sweeping view of Lake Geneva and the mountains.
Every which way you turned, it felt like a moment of meditation and/or prayer. Imagine a yoga session right about here?
With my measly point and shoot camera, I was able to capture some beautiful settings. Imagine if I had a better camera and actually knew what I was doing? 🙂 It is definitely a photographer’s dream come true!
Hiking in this world heritage listed vineyard, one enjoys easy walks and fantastic views of the grapevines in the various vineyards and so far we were absolutely smitten with it all.
We walked through the terraced vertical vineyards with shimmering Lake Geneva ahead of us and the sharp mountains rising out of the lake. The best part of this entire day? There weren’t any other tourists around, or they were probably in other crowded touristy parts of Switzerland. The vineyards cover a few miles of this fertile land. The beauty of the Lavaux region is best appreciated by foot. You could walk for hours taking in the beauty of it all. It was really quiet, you could easily hear a pin drop…..perhaps it was siesta time in the vineyards?
Yes, we did stop and sample some of the wines, it was a pretty warm day minus the humidity, so for me, white went down real well. Cool and crisp and satisfying, definitely a jewel of a place to explore. But I’ll have to reiterate, we came to explore the region, it was not a wine tasting expedition.
We decided to take the boat back to Montreux, it was a beautiful day to be on the water.