by Malcolm Curtis | May 11, 2012
Fruity and fresh, the white wine, often served with cheese fondue and raclette, is the most common in Switzerland after pinot noir.
But this year marks the first time an international competition has been devoted to Chasselas, also known as fendant and in Germany as Gutedel.
Judging will take place on June 1 and 2 at the Palais de Beaulieu exhibition center in downtown Lausanne.
A panel of 43 judges, including industry professionals and journalists, will taste the wines with results to be toasted on July 6 in Aigle (canton of Vaud), home to the Swiss association for the promotion of Chasselas (APC).
Among the judges is a former colleague of mine, David Moginier, food and wine journalist and blogger for the Lausanne-based 24heures newspaper.
The majority of the wines entered in the competition are Swiss, Moginier says in his latest blog posting.
The list is headed by those produced in the canton of Vaud, the leading producer of the vintage, followed by those in Valais and several other cantons, including Geneva and Neuchâtel.
But there are also entries from Germany, the French regions on Alsace and Savoie, plus the United States and Canada.
The non-profit APC (l’Association pour la Promotion du Chasselas) was founded in December 2010.
Headed by Frédéric Borloz, the mayor of Aigle, the association’s goal is to “promote, defend and raise the status” of the white wine.
Chasselas is produced from Swiss vineyards covering more than 4,000 hectares, amounting to almost a third of the land devoted to grape growing in the country.
Almost all of it is drunk in Switzerland, with less than two percent of all Swiss wine destined for export.
For more information check the Mondial du Chasselas website (in French and German only).
Wine enthusiasts have another event to look forward to this weekend in the canton of Geneva.
On Saturday (May 12), 100 wineries will open their doors from 10 am to 5 pm for the 25th annual “caves ouvertes,” with tastings of the 2011 vintages and other related events.
Around 30,000 people are expected to participate in the event at vineyards on either side of the canton, with the Geneva transport authority (TPG) putting on s special service to accommodate wine lovers.
For more information (in English) check this website.