If you’ve ever flown in or out of Geneva airport in Switzerland, you will have most likely flown over the gentle, rolling vineyards of the village Satigny, which has the largest vineyard area of any Swiss village, around 480 hectares or just over 1,000 acres. The French-speaking canton of Geneva is the third largest in Switzerland for vineyards after Valais and Vaud and there are some increasingly interesting wines to be found there from a vast range of grape varieties.
On my last visit there, we visited the wonderfully-named Domaine du Paradis, a producer growing over 20 different grape varieties in 40 hectares of vineyards in Satigny and the surrounding villages.
Owner of Domaine du Paradis Roger Burgdorfer and his partner-winemaker Didier Cornut share a wacky sense of humour which is reflected in their highly decorated tasting room and on their wine labels. The wines, though, show a serious level of quality and originality, with an eminently drinkable Pinot Blanc, an outstanding oak-aged Viognier named Le Pont de Soupirs Blanc; and in reds not only a good example from the local curiosities Garanoir and Gamaret blended with Merlot called Le Noir Divin, but also a surprising star from Zinfandel.
You can easily do a wine tour in Satigny and neighbouring villages directly from the city of Geneva as it’s only 20 minutes drive away. The village has good choices for eating with the large decent quality village restaurant named Auberge de Satigny and just down the road in the hamlet of Peney, the rather upmarket Auberge de Châteauvieux. On our visit, we met up with friends who were actually staying at Châteauvieux and they enjoyed an excellent evening meal in the restaurant.
For lunch on our visit we went to the Café de Peney under the same management. Being summer we could sit outside and enjoyed a relaxed meal with outstandingly presented food from good seasonal ingredients. The wine list too included a careful choice from the canton of Geneva and further afield in Switzerland and beyond.
Congratulations to Richard from Massachusetts who first guessed Sion in Valais, then Lavaux in Vaud (both major wine-growing areas, yes) and on the third attempt correctly guessed Satigny in Geneva, not an easy one.
Now, I can go and open a bottle of Le Noir Divin purchased on our visit. Follow me on Twitter for some more detailed impressions on the wine later this evening. And, if you are reading this on another day, you’ll find that my tweets include a wide range of comments on wine and travel related themes plus a few more snippets.