As I noted in the first posting I made for this blog, few Swiss wines will ever find a public outside of Switzerland, because they are practically all consumed in their home country. There are two major reasons for this, and they are both economical in nature. Swiss wines are expensive to export, given that land is costly in this tiny mountainous country and production costs are high. Secondly, foreign wines are heavily taxed in Switzerland, which gives local wines an advantage for the Swiss consumer.
But the Swiss know a good wine when they drink it, and there is little doubt that Ticino is the country’s rising star. When Hugh Johnson compiled his Wine Companion in 1983, he listed no more than five producers. But there has been a renaissance happening here in the last 20 years, and the region is now producing some outstanding Merlots, some of which can rival St. Emilion and Pomerol, both in quality and price.
Werner Stucky in his “garage” in Rivera, Ticino
One of the winemakers Johnson mentioned in his guide is Werner Stucky in Rivera, a small producer working 4 ha of land, who studied both in Switzerland and in Bordeaux under the famous oenologue Emile Peynaud. Stucky is an unpretentious man who makes only three wines, all of them seriously good vinos da tavola. When I asked him why he doesn’t produce wines which fall under the DOC classification, he simply replied that that doesn’t interest him. His customers, all restaurants and private individuals, know that a Stucky wine stands for quality. more>>