Vaud wines: Appellations & Terroirs
Lavaux, situated between Lausanne and Chillon, boasts a spectacular terraced landscape that overlooks Lake Geneva. Abundant sunshine is available thanks to the vines’ ideal exposure, reflected sun from the lake and sunshine stored in the terraced stone walls. The wines are well-structured and complex, characterised by notes of honey and toast and by their persistent finish.
Dézaley Grand Cru
The Dézaley wine area, located entirely within the district of Puidoux, is marked by abrupt slopes and stone walls that hug the hillside. Chasselas reigns supreme here, covering 90% of Dézaley’s surface area. The terraced vines’ exceptional exposure results in full-bodied wines with a remarkably long finish. These are complex, well-structured wines, with notes of almond and toast, ending with tea and honey notes.
Calamin Grand Cru
Calamin is nestled between the village of Epesses and Lake Geneva. Chasselas thrives on its distinctive soil, which gives the wine a rich aromatic palette, with notes of caramel and hints of chalk. Calamin wines are classy and dense: they are characteristically smooth on the palate, slightly sappy and bitter, which adds a touch of virility.
The Chablais wine region sits between Lake Geneva and the mountains, stretching from Villeneuve to the border with the canton of Valais. Its stony soil and the beneficial effects of foehn winds, which dry the grapes, give wines a forceful, mineral character. Elegant, aromatic and rich, Chablais wines are renowned for their fruity nose with flint notes.
La Côte is the wine region between Nyon and Lausanne. It benefits from the protection of the Jura mountains and Lake Geneva’s moderating temperatures. The wines vary depending on the soil: loose gravel at lower elevations near the lake yields very elegant wines while heavier soil at higher elevations produces more structured wines marked by floral and fruit notes.
The shores of Lake Neuchâtel on the canton of Vaud side are home to the Bonvillars wineproducing area. Precipitation here is the canton’s lowest and the area enjoys a very favourable microclimate. It stretches from Montagny-près-Yverdon to Concise, with a smattering of small villages in between. The wines take their characteristic notes from the limestone rock and the gravelly, mineral soil that marks the terroir.
Côtes de l’Orbe
Halfway between Lake Geneva and Lake Neuchâtel is the Côtes-de-l’Orbe wine region, which stretches across some 20 towns and villages, from La Sarraz to Yverdon-les-Bains. Molasse, limestone and clay soils give the area its diverse terroirs, with grapevines benefiting from mostly southerly exposures. The Côtes-de-l’Orbe’s dry climate is ideal for red grapes, which account for 75% of wine production.
The Vully wine region, in the foothills of Mont Vully, straddles an area bordered by the cantons of Fribourg and Vaud.
It sits on Aquitanian limestone deposits with layers of sandstone and marl that resemble each other closely. The small but highly regarded Vully wine area totals some 153 ha, of which 51 ha are in canton of Vaud and 102 ha in canton of Fribourg.
Its delicate wines are well-balanced, full and round, with notes of citrus fruits.