Grape varieties

In its quest for authenticity and quality, the vineyards of Neuchâtel have deliberately restricted their choice of grape varieties. Here are descriptions of the main grape varieties planted in the canton of Neuchâtel.

At present, white grape varieties occupy 40% of the surface area, mainly Chasselas, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
and Chardonnay, and the reds 60%, mainly Pinot Noir. Only twelve grape varieties are eligible for the Neuchâtel appellation d’origine contrôlée, with the aim of preserving quality and authenticity. Discover these different grape varieties.

Chasselas

Its neutral character gives Neuchâtel wines a distinctive terroir flavor. Lively, easy-drinking and slightly sparkling, it's perfect as an aperitif or with butter cake, lake fish, Gruyère cheese or fondue. A specialty from this grape variety that is becoming increasingly popular is "Unfiltered". This wine, with its cloudy appearance resulting from the presence of fine suspended lees, offers surprising sensations of exotic fruit on the nose and palate.

Pinot Noir

With its stony and chalky soils, the Neuchâtel region offers this noble grape variety an ideal location. The resulting wines are classy, full-bodied and generous, suitable for ageing for several years. More and more winemakers are aging it in oak barrels, giving it subtle hints of vanilla. It's the perfect accompaniment to any hot starter, Neuchâtel sausage, white or red meat and farmhouse tomme. Œil de Perdrix" is made from Pinot Noir grapes that have been lightly vatted, and is produced in Neuchâtel in its country of origin.

Pinot Blanc

A natural mutation of Pinot Noir, this variety was first selected in Alsace. Although not planted much in Neuchâtel, it nevertheless offers some nice surprises. Its finesse and delicate fragrances of pear and white peach make it the ideal companion for a poultry terrine.

Pinot Gris

In Neuchâtel, this variety produces rich, generous wines that are a credit to the region. Its deep golden hue charms the attentive eye. Harvested when overripe, ripened by passerillage or pressed after freezing the berries (cryoextraction), it produces full-bodied, sweet wines. At the table, it is an elegant match for smoked salmon, foie gras, wild mushrooms and dessert fruit.

Chardonnay

This world-renowned grape variety has found in the Neuchâtel terroir the quintessence it needs to flourish. Drawing its essence from the depths of the earth, it offers the palate fruity, elegant wines. Its acidity makes it ideal for ageing, which can take place in oak barrels. Enjoy this wine as an aperitif, with fine fish, vegetable terrines and gratins, or even with dessert.

Sauvignon Blanc

Perfectly acclimatized to the slopes of our vineyards, this variety produces highly aromatic wines that go particularly well with sea fish, shellfish and oysters.

Riesling Silvaner

Its muscatel aroma gives wines made from this variety a very fine bouquet. Pair them with hors d'oeuvres, lake fish or a distinctive cheese.

Gewürztraminer

With its imposing floral bouquet and spicy fruitiness, this grape variety develops exceptional bouquets in the Neuchâtel terroir. It is the perfect accompaniment to a spicy, exotic dish or smoked bondelle.

Doral

This new grape variety, a cross between Chasselas and Chardonnay, develops pleasantly aromatic flavors, refreshing as an aperitif and ideal with asparagus dishes or fish terrines.

Garanoir

Gamaret's little brother, also the result of the same cross-breeding carried out in the 70s by Mr André Jacquinet of the Changins federal research station, it differs from Gamaret in that it is rounder and has a slightly softer tannic structure. A piece of grilled beef suits it perfectly.

Gamaret

A relatively recent grape variety, resulting from an unlikely cross between Gamay and Reichensteiner (German white), it has made a place for itself in the very closed circle of our traditional red grape varieties. Dark in color, it is full-bodied and develops strong spicy notes. It is best served with a game dish or a platter of mature cheeses.

Viognier

The grape variety par excellence of the white Côtes du Rhône, it seduces above all by its finesse. Its pronounced apricot and exotic fruit aromas will delight lovers of aromatic wines. Quite versatile, it can, like Chardonnay, accompany a variety of dishes or simply be enjoyed as an aperitif.

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