The Lavaux wine region is a perfect weekend getaway for this summer or fall. Beautiful scenery, rich history, and delicious wines are reason enough to visit, but we are about to make it even more appealing by helping you plan a wine tour of the region. Lavaux is a mere two and half hours away by train from Zurich, and situated next to the music city of Montreaux. This UNESCO world heritage site is referred to as the “Land of Three Suns” because the wines grow with the sun from the sky, sun that reflects off of the lake, and sun from the walls that have absorbed its heat.
Planning a wine tasting trip is sometimes confusing, especially when there are many wineries and different villages to choose from. From our recent experience in the area thanks to Swiss Tourism, we were able to get a better idea of how to plan a wine tasting trip of your own, and want to pass this information along to you!
Reserve your SBB ticket & have fun exploring ladies!
Fun Facts about Lavaux
Winemaking in Lavaux dates back to the 11th century, when monks started growing vineyards on the narrow and steep terraces supported by stone walls. Many of the wineries located there today have been passed on through many generations. The main grape of the Lavaux region is the Chasselas, as it is believed that the grape originated there. The Chasselas is a sparkling, fruity, fresh wine, with mineral overtones and pairs well with fish and cheese. The wines of the region are named after the villages they are grown in, and there are 14 villages in total. There are 200 winemakers, 830 hectares, 400 kilometers of walls, and 10,000 terraces planted on 40 levels. Each wine maker has their own cellar in the area, and most are open for tastings to the public.
How to Plan Your Own Wine Tasting Trip
We suggest picking 3-5 villages that you would like to visit. You can first check out the map of the area as well as the suggested walks to get an idea of where you might want to go. The “Chemin du Dezaley” is considered to be the most breathtaking path, and is included in this walk. Once you have decided on what villages you will be visiting, find out which wineries are located in that village, many are listed here, and the full list is here (but the site is only in French). Check the winery’s website for the hours open to the public, or call to make an appointment. Many wineries are open everyday but require an appointment before visiting, so don’t hesitate to call.
Zuri Tip: If the website is not in English, just call them! Many wineries speak English but don’t provide an English website, though they would still be happy to welcome you.
Zuri Girl Suggested Itinerary
This is an example of an itinerary that we enjoyed, but don’t be afraid to add on more wineries or add in a longer walk to make it a perfect day; just for you!
- Arrive to the Chexbres-Village by train and walk to the Domaine Bovy’s Cellar and taste 4 wines along with bread flutes, meats, and cheese. Call ahead to make a reservation.
- With your map, take a nice stroll to Rivaz and visit Domaine Chappuis to have a taste of his wines. Call ahead to make an appointment via +41 21 946 24 02.
- Walk down further to the Lavaux Vinorama and watch the short film on winemaking in the region. When you finish, pick a few more wines you would like to taste and order them by the half glass (.5dL) or one of their tasting packages.
- Take the train from Rivaz back to your accommodations.
If you don’t want to spend the energy planning a trip, there are many options for a great day in the vineyards with a guide. Below, we’ve listed a few that sound fun to us!
Lavaux Express: If the wine cellars don’t interest you but beautiful scenery does, this is the option for you. Hop on a tourist train-on-wheels and travel through the impressive vineyards and take in the breathtaking landscape.
Winemax: If you want a guided and personalized tour of the area, included with wine tastings, this is for you. They offer tours on foot or by private chauffeur, and the option to add on a Chillon Castle, watchmaker, or chocolate/cheese factory tour.
Lavaux Experience: If you’ve ever been interested in learning about winemaking, this is for you. Spend an hour working in the vineyards, taste five of the Chappuis wines, have a three-course lunch, and leave with a bottle of white, rose, and red wine to drink on your own.
Swiss Riviera Wine Tours: If you want a guided tour, wine tastings, and lunch at a winery, check out their website to book a tour.
Where to Stay
We suggest staying nearby in Vevey or Montreaux; both of which are beautiful cities that offer delicious restaurants, fun activities, and beautiful lakeside scenery.
No matter which wines you taste or walks you take, we are sure you will enjoy a fun day or weekend in the Lavaux wine region!
Article & photos contributed by: Zuri Girl Caitlin, a San Francisco native and Swiss chocolate addict. You will most likely find her in the kitchen, the yoga studio, working on her latest craft project, or writing all about it on her blog, teaspoon.
Article created in collaboration with and sponsored by Switzerland Tourism