Switzerland is a country of rugged mountains and lakes in Western Europe, with its people sharing the cultures and languages of Italy, Germany, France, and Austria. Its wines reflect this blend of ancestries, with grapes saluting all these nationalities. Wine grape seeds were found dating as far back as 3000 BC around Lake Neuchâtel, although it is unknown whether these were ever cultivated as wine. What is known is that the Romans brought vines into Switzerland some time around 100 BC and produced wine in the Valais area, planting Amigne, Arvine, and Rèze grapes. In the Middle Ages, Cistercian monks from Burgundy, France settled in Switzerland and established vineyards in Vaud. They studied soil types, and which grapes would be most suitable to Alpine climate conditions, though the wines they produced were often supplemented with mulling spices and honey. International trade had stepped up by the 17th century, with French wines, especially those from the Rhône, the most sought after Read more »
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