This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Swiss Red Over £15 Gregor Kuonen, Grandmaître Cabernet Franc, Valais 2012 (13.6%)
- No other Golds in this category
This is a producer whose wines are in high demand – more than 90% are sold directly to private clients in Switzerland, and every year is a sell-out of all 700,000 bottles. ‘We want to show the world that Swiss wines can be high quality,’ says Giuseppe Santoro, part of the team at Gregor Kuonen. ‘But the reason Switzerland doesn’t export its finest wines is that there isn’t enough production – the Swiss drink it all!’
Under Gregor Kuonen, who started the winery in 1979, only six wines were made, but his sons François and Charles have increased this to more than 60.
Larissa joined the team in 2009 after studying oenology in Changins. She did several internships in cellars around Europe, though she credits her father as being a major influence in her winemaking style – ‘It’s a kind of art; a passion,’ she says.
In the microclimate of the Valais, the summers are dry and hot with temperatures nudging 35°C; the winters are cold and marked by heavy snowfall. Kuonen’s winery is in a valley, protected by 4,000m-high mountains, and the vines are terraced on the mountain slopes.
This Trophy-winner is 100% Cabernet Franc, and 15,000 bottles were made.
Written by Decanter