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Winery #74: Domaine de Gourmandaz (Vaud, Switzerland)

In our first Swiss winery adventure, we visited Domaine De Gourmandaz in the Vaud canton located near the gorgeous Lake Neuchâtel in western Switzerland. There are 26 cantons, defined as administrative subdivisions or states, within Switzerland. And yes, the Swiss make their own wine. The reason we don’t hear about the wine internationally is because 98% of all Swiss wine is consumed within Switzerland! Another fun fact is that the Swiss spend the most money per capita, per year for wine than any other people in the world. Our friends joke that the average may grow further since we moved to town.

The host for the Domaine De Gourmandaz wine experience, Alice, provided us with a wonderful background of the estate. The Didier family has been connected to the winery since 1982, taking full ownership as a family-run estate in 1995. Alice, who leads the vineyard management portion of the winery, described the family’s wine growing techniques of using no insecticides with minimal herbicides, permitting the family to carry the VINATURA sustainability label of Switzerland for over 20 years. The estate owns 9 hectares (22.2 acres) of vineyards, and we would have the opportunity to tour the vineyards later in the visit.

Our private tasting experience consisted of a seated, formal tasting of five wines. Our favorite wine from the lineup was the 2020 Patrimoine Blanc, a white wine blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Switzerland is divided into three portions: the German, French, and Italian zone, each with cultural ties and different official spoken languages. Domaine De Gourmandaz is located in the French area of Switzerland, thus the wine’s name in French and using two French grape varietals in the blend. The wine's strong aroma and flavor intensities conveyed well-integrated notes of peach, apricot, vanilla, and cedar along with a full body giving the wine great finesse on the palate. The oak aging regimen provided the vanilla and cedar flavors and gave the wine a boost to its body. Besides by-appointment-only tastings for visitors, Alice mentioned that the estate hosts fun events throughout the year such as Gourmet Walks and vineyard open houses.

Following our tasting, we drove a short distance to visit the Domaine De Gourmandaz vineyards. Workers were busily tending to the vines when we arrived. The vineyards gradually sloped downwards towards Lake Neuchâtel, providing excellent water drainage for the vines. Too much water could lead to increased fungal growth and vine overproduction leading to diluted, less intensely flavored grapes. The view of the lake from the vineyards was spectacular, as the blue and green lake colors reminded me of the Caribbean. As a side note, if you ever scuba dive in Lake Neuchâtel, you should be aware that there is an extremely scary underwater statue of a shark located at the bottom of the lake. It’s worth a Google search:-)

Brodi sends his SPECIAL THANKS to our host, Alice, for providing such a wonderful doggie experience with so much attention, hugs, and lots of cold drinking water!

Experience Rating: 3 Stars

Brodi's Rating: 4 Paws Up

Pet-Friendly: Yes

Experience Vibe: Private Experience, Vineyard Tour, Seated Formal Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes

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