Discovering vignerons in Switzerland: Domaine Les Hutins
Three words: chocolate, watches and banks. What am I talking about? Surely, Switzerland comes to mind with its amazing natural landscapes and its delicious cheeses! However if I talk about wine, with the same confidence I can assert that you won’t think to the Helvetic Republic, but more likely to the close France and Italy.
Yes, because Switzerland isn’t among the world most known wine-producing countries, indeed it exports almost the 2% of its wine production. So, maybe, the Swiss are too fond of their wines that they drink them all!
What a pity! Because in my last trip I’ve started the exploration of swiss viticulture and I’m highly enthusiastic about it.
The wine-growing regions are six, the largest area is in the french Switzerland, followed by German-speaking part, Ticino the Italian one and then the Three lakes region. The vignerons (“winemakers” in local language) are focused on the quality and enhancement of the terroirs, growing both the autochthonous and the international varieties.
There would be much to be explored on each region, but now it’s geneva wine o’clock!
We are in the western end of lake Leman, where the wine-growing area of Geneva gets influences from the Alps, France and the Rhone river. A mosaic of microclimates, where each vigneron experiences its territory between tradition and modernity of production methods.
Among them it’s noteworthy the Domaine Les Hutins of the Dardagny village to 20 minutes from Geneva City – a Wine-cellar of 150k bottles a year.
4 key facts about Domaine Les Hutins:
1) A story of innovation through generations
The wine-making tradition of the Hutin Family starts in 1901 growing the native vine varieties most typical as Chasselas – a crispy and sometimes mineral easy-drinking white wine – and Gamay – originally from Burgundy, a light bodied and fruit-driven red wine.
Louis and Jules – the 3rd generation – in 1976 expand the estate to 19 ha, how it’s still today.
Then another step forward has been made from the 4th generation, building a new cellar according to modern criteria and planting international varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Pinot etc. – which make up some of their most interesting wines.
Nowadays, it’s a woman leading the 5th generation of the family, Émilienne Hutin Zumbach the winemaker with her father Jean, exploiting the potential of the terroir and adopting winemaking techniques never used before in French Switzerland.
2) Environmental friendly, slow and steady wins the race
On the Dardagny’s gentle hills, the Hutin family grow on high and low vines 17 vine varieties, beginning to follow the organic agriculture criteria, and for a small vineyard area they are growing according to biodynamic cultivation.
3) They look almost hand-painted, I’m talking about the labels!
Their labels have immediately caught my attention, as well as the wines. They are unique creations designed by family members over generations. Especially the Hutins women gave an elegant and essential touch, indeed the labels display creativity and uniqueness between colors, flowers, symbols and geometric lines.
4) From Geneva with wine-love
Emilienne the winemaker gave a party with 4 special guests Gamay (50%) that brought fruits and spices, Garanoir (5%) with its essential finesse, Gamaret (35%) bringing tannins and structure and Merlot (10%) to make the party funnier. The last two delayed for a beauty rest in oak barrels.
I’m not get crazy! Actually I’m talking about the “L’Esprit de Geneve” by Emilienne Hutin. A super red wine blend that reflects the spirit openness, humanism, diversity, innovation and quality that characterises Geneva itself.
This’s a great initiative shared by 19 wineries aspiring to spread the specialty of Geneva wines beyond the regional borders, and maybe, why not, besides those of the country too.
Discover more on Domaine Les Hutins – http://www.domaineleshutins.ch/