Cheers! A visit to three generations of winegrowing families on the “Balade Oenotouristique”.
The canton of Vaud is one of Switzerland’s biggest winegrowing regions. Dozens of local winegrowers produce unique bottles of Chasselas, Pinot Noir and Gamay. On the Balade Oenotouristique, you can learn more about the terroir and local specialities and meet winegrowers like Catherine Cruchon and Tristan Perey, who have vineyards in the region of Morges.
The walk starts and ends in Morges, a medieval town on the banks of Lake Geneva. The route winds through the winegrowing area of La Côte AOC, past castles and picturesque villages. Download the “Vaud:Guide” app to make sure you don’t miss out on any sights or – heaven forbid – wines.
Fertile soil for top-quality wine
“Domaine Henri Cruchon” is one of the most renowned wine estates in Morges. Today, the family grows twenty different grape varieties on over one hundred parcels of land, each with its own terroir, microclimate and personality. More than half the grapes are organic, meaning they are grown in harmony with nature and are free from chemicals.
Passionate about wine
Catherine Cruchon is her family’s third generation of winegrowers and is proud to keep the tradition alive. “I started helping my father with the wine harvest at the age of eight,” she explains. “Back then, I knew already that I wanted to grow wine one day.” After training as a wine technologist, Catherine studied oenology. She then completed apprenticeships with businesses in the US, South Africa and Israel, a mind-opening experience where she could learn more about wine production.
Catherine has learned how to “read” the leaves and seeds of her Chasselas vines. A white seed means that the grapes are still unripe; a brown seed means that they will soon be ready for harvest. “In just a few weeks, we can begin to harvest the grapes,” she says.
With a heavy heart…
…we say goodbye to the Cruchon family and continue our walk along the Balade Oenotouristique. Catherine shares a few final tips with us and opens the app to show us where the path leads.
The app is called “Vaud:Guide” and takes visitors from vineyard to vineyard. Along the route, they can discover historical villages and impressive castles, including Château de Vufflens. The view stretches over Lake Geneva to the snow-capped Alpine mountains on the horizon. There is also plenty on offer for gourmets, such as star chef Bernard Ravet’s famous “L’Ermitage des Ravet” restaurant in Vufflens-le-Château. Reservations compulsory!
- Where Vufflens-le-Château
- Distance 6 km
- Duration 3h 30min
- Level of difficulty Easy
A centuries-old tradition
The Perey family has lived in the Morges region since the 15th century and has been producing wine for almost as long. Today, Tristan Perey and his father and two sisters produce around 75,000 bottles of wine each year, half of which are Chasselas.