Touring the Rhine Valley vineyards of Graubünden, tourists will surely hear references to the value of “aspect,” a term referring to the geographical direction in which a vineyard slope faces. The site aspect of a vineyard’s slopes determines the timing and intensity of available sunshine to wine grape crops. Aspect is particularly essential in cooler regions like the Graubünden canton vineyards, where grapes struggle to ripen on anything except the sunniest of slopes.
After making its way down from Tomasee, the Rhine River’s source high in the Alps, the Rhine finds her way to the Graubünden vineyard sites planted on the right side of the riverbanks, and mixes with the finer Swiss soils of schist and gneiss. All this, added to the extraordinary Graubünden location and the perfect timing of brilliant mountain sunshine, completes a precise formulation for generations of winemaking excellence.
A rare known fact about Rhine Valley Swiss grown wines is that although more famous regions of German wines boast about Rheinqau, Baden, and Rheinessen, Graubünden vineyards are nourished by that great Rhine River long before it reaches the slopes of those German vineyards.
Ride through the vineyards of Graubunden.
Photo courtesy of Swiss Tourism