Located in the southwest of Switzerland lies the wide, glacial Rhône valley known as the Valais—one of 26 cantons that form the Swiss Confederation. The Valais region benefits from a particular microclimate as a result of its latitude and the fact that the valley is situated in between the Bernese Alps in the north and the Pennine Alps in the south. Home to the highest peaks in the Swiss Alps, more than 50 mountains exceed 4,000 meters—the highest of which reaches 4,634 meters (15,203 feet). At altitudes like this, the region is one of the wettest in the country. That being said, air loses its humidity when passing summits above 4,000 meters and forces a strong, dry, downward wind into the Rhône valley (known as the Föhn), deeming it the driest valley and wine producing region in Switzerland. This continental dichotomy creates ideal growing conditions; the crisp, dry air provokes a diurnal shift that is particularly helpful in the spring when the risk of frost is high, as well as in the fall, helping to ensure slow ripening. Overall, the Valais plain receives less than 600 millimetres of rain per year and more than 2,000 hours of sunshine during the growing season. At 5,000 hectares, the Valais is the largest AOC in Switzerland and accounts for a third of the total wine production.
One of the key philosophies in the vineyards for Jean-René Germanier is striking a balance between the amount of leaf surface and the quantity of grapes on the vine—an extremely important relationship when it comes to photosynthesis; more leaves means more vigour which often results in an abundance of grapes with low concentration. Leaf plucking and dropping fruit controls yields and boosts flavours. In addition to lowering yields, farming organically without the use of herbicides and pesticides, harvesting by hand are of utmost importance. This wine comes from 40 year old vines in the Chamoson, Fully and Vétroz vineyards, planted on alluvial deposits, slate and glacial moraine sediment.
Syrah is a dark-skinned grape variety grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce red wine. In 1999, Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. A rich, powerful, and sometimes meaty red wine that originated in the Rhône Valley of France. The style and flavour profile of wines made from Syrah is greatly influenced by the climate where the grapes are grown. The Syrah grape was introduced into Switzerland in 1926 and in 2009 was the 6th most common red wine grape in Switzerland (181 hectares). Mostly grown in Valais, along the upper Rhône valley above Lake Geneva, it produces unexpectedly concentrated wine from mature vines.
10 day pre-fermentation maceration. Fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel with regular punch downs. 12 months
Intense ruby red in the glass. This Syrah has spicy nose that opens with aromas of blackberries, ripe cherries and tobacco notes with subtle woody and smoky nuances. Ample weighty structure with a concentrated mid palate. Incredible