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Winery #75: Chateau D'Auvernier (Neuchâtel, Switzerland)

Our second winery visit in Switzerland was at Chateau D’Auvernier located in the Neuchâtel Canton just a short trip east of our first experience of the day. Chateau D’Auvernier was established in 1603 and now the 15th generation carries on the family tradition of producing wine. Our experience consisted of a seated tasting of ten wines representing the estate’s range of production. Our favorite from the lineup was the 2021 Oeil de Perdrix, a rosé produced from the Pinot Noir grape. Oeil de Perdrix translates from French to “Partridge’s Eye” to describe the wine's unique color. I couldn't remember the color of a Partridge's eye, so with the help of Google, we can confirm that the wine’s color is almost exactly the same as the color of a Red Legged Partridge’s eye. This particular wine represents sixty-percent of the estate’s wine production, and is exported mostly to Japan and the United States. Americans love rosé!

The wine is produced using the Direct Pressing Method for making rosé wines. This winemaking method involves the immediate pressing of black grapes, such as Pinot Noir in this case, as soon as they are received in the winery from the vineyard. Wineries will use a pneumatic press for speedy pressing, and often leverage an inert gas flush to ensure no oxygen comes in contact with the grapes during the process in order to avoid oxidation that can impact the grape juice’s delicate aromas and flavors. After pressing, the grape juice is fermented like a normal white wine. The winemaker is able to control the color through the amount of force used in the press as the more pressure applied will result in a greater extraction of color from the black grape skins, giving a deeper colored rosé wine. The longer the time the grapes are in the press will also result in a deeper color as the dark grape skins will impart greater color into the clear grape pulp liquid. The lightest of rosés such as those form Provence in southern France are made the via the Direct Pressing Method.

We found the 2021 Oeil de Perdrix extremely interesting with it's light salmon-color, as well as the concentrated red cherry aromas and flavors from the Pinot Noir grape. The high acidity provided a refreshing structure making the wine perfect for an aperitif or summer drink. We recommend giving this wine a try!

Check out our Chateau D'Auvernier YouTube video here!!!

Experience Rating: 3 Stars

Brodi's Rating: 4 Paws Up

Pet-Friendly: Yes

Experience Vibe: Private Experience, Formal Seated Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes during the week, but no reservations needed on Saturday

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