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Gilles Besse Jean-Rene Germanier Switzerland

Gilles Besse used to be a professional saxophone player. So it is not very surprising that this charming man has a certain gift for being in the spotlight – in a very positive sense.

After graduating from the Swiss Winemaker’s University in Nyon, Changins, he took over the oenologist’s position at his uncle’s winery: Jean-Renè Germanier. So winemaking is his art now; and he is at least as talented as in music. Nevertheless Gilles is a hardworking wine-virtuouso: managing a one-million-bottle winery, being president of the National Marketing Association “Swiss Wine Promotion” as well as the regional promotion group “Amigne de Vétroz”.

Mr. Besse’s non-working time, if there is such a thing, is spent skiing, golfing, and melting a loaf of local cheese to serve his friends his favourite dish from the Valais region called “Raclette” – with a glass of his prize-winning Fendant Grand Cru.

But what makes him one of Switzerland’s first-row winemakers? Such a reputation is not only due to his participation in the popular Swiss TV cooking show “aldente” but also because he succeeds in creating high-quality wines, including his strongly terroir-marked wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Fendant/Chasselas, and award-winning assemblages like the trilogy of red, white and rosé that was created for the Swiss sailing team Alinghi when winning the America’s Cup.

It is a must to taste the delicious and complex wines of autochthonous Swiss grapes, and of course some of Switzerland’s most famous single-grape creations such as Cayas Syrah.  Visit the winery with its historic tasting cellar or just find the master himself in Valais.

By, Jonas David Ettlin,


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