From Hiking Trails In The Alps To Wineries In Small Villages By A Lake
It’s time for wine in the middle of a meadow in the Swiss Alps near Zermatt.
Switzerland really is an amazing country.
Not only can you be skiing in the Alps in the afternoon and having dinner in a city an hour or two later, but you can do it with remarkable ease.
And you can also drink Swiss wines in the most extraordinary places.
I mention this because I’m having a glass of wine now. And, as often happens when I drink wine, I start thinking about places to drink wine.
I love wine tasting rooms, particularly in California’s Monterey and Carmel, and good bars and restaurants.
The better the view, the better the wine experience.
Which brings me to Switzerland.
They have wine in Switzerland. Very good wine, in fact. Since they make so precious little of it, you pretty much have to enjoy it in its native country, and that’s another thing that makes it so great.
You can drink wine in Switzerland in places you can’t imagine until you get there and do it for yourself.
They have little restaurants in the middle of the Alps. I mean in the middle of a meadow with nothing else around you but grazing cows. One minute you’re on a hiking trail and the next you’ve stumbled upon a hut in, say the shadows of the Matterhorn outside of Zermatt.
Then there’s the wine country.
Switzerland’s wine country is not like the wine countries where I reside, California. Here, there are dozens upon dozens of wineries lining the highways for miles. It’s big business, too, and there are several organized tours, especially to Napa Valley from San Francisco.
In Switzerland, the wineries are tucked into small villages. It’s almost if they are hiding from you.
The Lake Geneva Region has several wineries but there’s not one single organized tour. To put together this wine country guide for PubClub.com, I had to do considerable research on how to tour the wineries and ultimately decided upon a combination of a boat, the train, your feet and even a bicycle.
That in itself is unique.
At the excellent Domaine du Daily winery – located on what is a slanted ledge that looks as if the vines might slide down into Lake Geneva below at any moment – we had walk through the place to hunt down a hostess.
I had the feeling we could have just opened a few bottles ourselves and started our own tasting until someone arrived to check in on us. It was that relaxed.
Then there are the restaurants, some of which are over rivers, lakes or high above cities with views that make you sit back and savor the experience.
And you can drink it on the trains between destinations. As an added bonus, the accommodating people of the Swiss Travel System even let you bring your own wine to drink on the train. Talk about traveling in style!
For all of its other attributes, Switzerland is also worth a trip just for its wine drinking experiences.