Monday, January 26, 2015
Visiting Azienda Mondo in Ticini, Switzerland
As part of the 2014 Digitul Wine Communications Conference in Montreux, Switzerland, I explored the wines of Ticino during a post-conference press trip. This posting - Visiting Azienda Mondo in Ticini, Switzerland - is the seventh of a series of postings (see below) emanating from my visit of Ticino.
Exploring the Wines of Ticino in Ticino, the Italian Speaking Part of Switzerland
Touring (and Tasting the Wines of) Brivio Vini SA and Gialdi Vini SA in Mendrisio, Ticono, with Guido Brivio, Switzerland
Polenta and Ticino Wine at Grotto Bundi in Ticino, Switzerland
Visiting Cantina Kopp von der Crone Visini and Tasting with Barbara von der Crone and Paolo Visini in Barbengo, Ticino, Switzerland
Visiting (and Tasting the Wines of) Tamborini SA and Lunch with Valentina Tamborini, Ticino, Switzerland
Touring and Tasting the Wines of Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA, with David Delea, Switzerland
Visiting Azienda Mondo in Ticini, Switzerland
Touring an Tasting the Wines of Agriloro SA and Diner with Owner Meinrad Perler, Switzerland
Touring and Tasting the Wines of Vinattieri Ticinesi, Switzerland
Lunch at Ristorante Montalbano in Stabio, Switzerland
Wine Producer Switzerland
Switzerland is a small wine producer with about 15 000 hectares of vineyards only. This is about 15 percent of Germany’s total winegrowing area and a bit more than 1 percent of that of Spain. Only less than 2% of the wine is exported, mainly to Germany.
Switzerland's particular situation - in between four wine-producing nations (France, Italy, Germany and Austria) and itself divided into four different areas with different languages and traditions - has resulted in an extreme diversity of its wines.
Switzerland has an extensive range of grape varieties. Among the white grapes, the Chasselas is the most widespread. Müller-Thurgau, cultivated above all in the German speaking part of Switzerland, and Sylvaner are also popular. The main red grape varieties are Pinot Noir, which can be found in all the wine-producing regions of Switzerland, and Gamay, which predominates in the Valais; Merlot has found a second home in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, the Ticino.
Ticino is a quite distinct winemaking zone in Switzerland, totaling 1000 hectares. The canton Ticino (and the wine region Tecino) is divided into two regions by the dividing line of the Monte Ceneri Pass: Sopraceneri in the north and Sottoceneri in the south. The Sopraceneri soils are rather stony with a full complement of silt and sand, while the Sottoceneri soils are limestone and deep, rich clays. Ticino's climate is Mediterranean.
ombiasy PR and WineTours, and Christian G.E. Schiller in Lugano
There are a total of about 3600 grape growers in Ticino and 200 or so winemakers, including a co-operative. The 200 or so winemakers range from pure negociant-type producer (who buy all the grapes the use for their wine) to winemakers that only use their own grapes for making wine. Vineyards are generally small, steep plots of between 3 ha and 6 ha and yields are at 70 hl/ha. 15 winemakers account for about 80% of the total production. The co-op produces 1 million bottles annually.
Merlot is the dominant grape variety. The Ticino Merlot ranges from easy drinking, including white, Merlots to ultra-premium Merlots that can compete with the best in the world (including Bordeaux) and cost US$50 to US$150 per bottle.
Azienda Mondo belongs to the group of winemakers that cover the whole winemaking process, from growing grapes, to making wine and bottling and marketing the wines. It is a small producer. The vineyard area totals 6 hectares (of which 2 are long-term leased). The winery is idyllically located up on a mountain.
There are 4 people in the winery, including owner Giorgio Rossi, who is a self-taught, enthusiastic winemaker. He founded the winery 20 years ago. Total production is 3000 cases, of which 1/3 is sold to direct customers at the winery, 1/3 to restaurants and 1/3 to the trade.
We were received by winemaker Antonio Ginardi.
The Wines Antonio Poured
2013 Iris, Bianco del Ticino, Ticino DOC 15 Sfr.
Blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, a fresh aperitif wine
2013 Rosato di Bondola del Nonu Mario, Rosato di Bondola, Ticino DOC 15 Sfr.
Again, a fresh, clean aperitif wine
2010 Crudell, IGT Bianco della Svizzera Italiana 30 Sfr.
Chardonnay (40%), Müller Thurgau (17%), Sauvignon Blanc (40%), Arneis (3%), 12 months aged in new and used wood, a much more complex wine than the traditional white wines from Ticino
2011 Bondola del Nonu Mario, Ticino DOC 19 Sfr.
100% Bondola, a traditional Ticino grape variety, for the production of easy drinking wines
2011 Scintilla, Ticino DOC 18 Sfr.
An easy drinking Merlot
2010 Ronco dei Ciliegi, Rosso del Ticino DOC 35 Sfr.
Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), 18 months in new and used wood, a premium wine
schiller-wine: Related Posting
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy
The 2014 Digital Wine Communications Conference (DWCC) in Switzerland
The Wines of Weingut Saxer, a Winemaker in the German-speaking part of Switzerland
The Wines of Switzerland – Grand Tasting with (and Introduction to Swiss Wines by) Jancis Robinson and José Vouillamoz