Friday, December 9, 2022

These are the wines of the future

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Fungus-resistant grape varieties

These are the wines of the future

They are still an insider tip, but “PiWis” are slowly but surely conquering Switzerland. We explain everything you need to know about the sustainable trend.


PiWis are ideal for organic cultivation.

Isabelle Thürlemann-Brigger

The term fungus-resistant is hidden behind the abbreviation PiWi. These are newly bred grape varieties that are largely resistant to the widespread fungal diseases powdery mildew and downy mildew as well as gray rot. New breeds are constantly being created by crossing hardy varieties with tasty ones. The use of genetic engineering is prohibited.

PiWis are ideal for near-natural cultivation. Very little biological pesticides are needed in the vineyard. The almost complete absence of pesticides not only protects the vines, but also the health of winegrowers and the environment. In addition, production costs decrease in the long term because spraying is very labour-intensive.

A nice side effect of these future-oriented varieties are the new taste horizons that are opening up to us.

You have to try these white varieties

The Solaris is an ideal aperitif companion. It is full-bodied, fresh and tastes of exotic fruits such as pineapple and melon.

A safe bet for Riesling lovers is Johanniter, as it also has a fruity and mineral character like its mother grape. Due to its often slightly sweet style, Solaris harmonises well with light vegetable dishes with an Asian touch and fish.

These red varieties are good food companions

Cabernet Jura is reminiscent of its French counterpart, Cabernet sauvignon, not just in name. The intensely colored wines have a dark berry flavor profile. There are also hints of muscat grapes that add complexity. Because Cabernet Jura has clearly noticeable tannins, it goes well with a creamy risotto.

The Divico grape yields soft, crimson wines. It is related to Gamaret and beguiles with its floral notes of violets, blueberry aromas and a peppery spice. This makes them an excellent accompaniment to meat dishes.

Pioneer country Switzerland

In German-speaking Europe and in the Czech Republic, the cultivation of PiWis is clearly on the rise. Switzerland played an important role in this development early on because well-known breeders such as Pierre Basler and Valentin Blattner are based here. According to the Federal Office for Agriculture, almost 3 percent of the vineyards (400 ha) were already planted with PiWi vines in 2021.

PiWis are grown throughout Switzerland and are particularly popular with Central Swiss winegrowers. The most planted blue PiWi grape variety is Divico, Johanniter leads the white ranking.

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