Gutedel, Chasselas, Fendant, Viviser, Mornen – there are many synonyms across the world showing the long history of this grape variety. Experts debated about its true origin for centuries. A rumour is going that Chasselas originated from the Fayoum oasis in Egypt roughly 5000 years ago.
Nowadays, genetic tests ruled out any possibility of an Egypt origin. They resulted in naming the region around Lac Leman in Switzerland as the most likely origin of Gutedel.
Although Gutedel is grown worldwide as a table grape there are only few regions using the grape for wine production. Most notably Switzerland where Gutedel is the most planted white wine variety with a total of 9900 acres. Other important regions are Alsace in France and Markgräflerland in Germany.
1. Characteristics of a Gutedel
Gutedel is a white grape variety which produces a light and palatable wine. With his shy aromatics, Gutedel is perfectly suited to express the terroir, soil and microclimate of the region of production. His low acidity makes it a easily digestible wine. It is also known for his good ageing properties. Most notably some Crus of Switzerland like Dezaley, Vevey and Aigle.
2. Food pairings with Gutedel
In my opinion, Gutedel doesn’t need a sophisticated meal at all. It is a everyday wine where you can start to drink a glass no matter the daytime. In the region where I grew up, people start enjoying a glass of Gutedel already in the morning for the so called „Znüni“.
It is a perfect match for a pairing of Speck, sweet pepper and bread.
Anyway, if you want to pair with food try out light cuisine like a salt- water fish or do it like the swiss and try it with raclette or fondue.
A quick overview of some superb Gutedel from Switzerland and Germany
Chris: Gutedel 2015, Schlossgut Ebringen (Markgräflerland, Germany): „One of few producers who is vinifying a really dry Gutedel. Very fresh and elegant style of Gutedel.
Christoph: Brez 2015, Domaine la Colombe (Fechy, Switzerland): „One of Switzerlands most famous producers for Chasselas. Has 4 Crus, Brez is one of them.
Frauke: Gutedel 2014, Weingut Schneider (Markgräflerland, Germany): „Southwesterly winery in Germany, sharing the vineyard with Switzerland. Famous for the terroir of the Weiler Schlipf, producing an outstanding Gutedel.
Christoph and the YourWineEstate.com team