In 2004, the Domaine des Balisiers decided to plant a new white grape variety experimentally. After numerous tastings and a thorough investigation of the characteristics of our soils, we decided to try the traditional variety of the Loire valley, namely, Chenin. This was to be the first such experiment in Switzerland. In 2004-05, we thus planted three hectares of Chenin Blanc from the massale selection of the Gibault nursery at Jugné sur Loire, which we trained and pruned in the open lyre shape. Our Chenin Blanc is matured for 12 months in clay amphora without undergoing malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the best of its freshness. This successful experiment has enabled us to produce two radically different white varietals. The first is dry and mineral, while the second, made from late-picked grapes, is our only sweet white wine.
Originally grown in Alsace, along the banks of the river Rhine, the Pinot Blanc grape has recently acquired a new reputation as one of the varieties grown in the Geneva vineyards. Our Pinot Blanc thrives on the east bank of the Rhône, a few miles south of Geneva near the hamlet of Perly and by the Château de Sierne at Veyrier. This varietal features translucent lemony hues and a dominant aroma of golden apple. On tasting, it goes on to deliver a wonderful balance of flavours, starting with a clean bright freshness, moving to a full-bodied middle of sweet fruitiness and ending with a touch of citrus. It makes a good aperitif wine, but it is also a remarkable match for salmon carpaccio with lime juice, vegetarian Quiche or white lake-fish. Recommended drinking is three years after bottling.
Rose de Lune
Rose de Lune is a varietal rosé made from Pinot Noir. Its particularly tender fruitiness owes much to the fact that it is vinified from juice drawn off after the grapes have spent only a few hours in the tank. Its rosy salmon surface is transluscent, with hues of orange. The nose is an aromatic explosion of apricot, pineapple, lichee and peach. Rose de Lune is a wine for summertime meals and a delightful companion for Asian cuisine. It should ideally be chilled to 9-11° in an ice bucket before serving.