Back

Lafnetscha - Riesling

Lafnetscha - Riesling

This is a very rare grape indeed and is only found in Haut-Valais in Switzerland. As you might expect from rare Swiss varieties, the best examples are produced by Kellerei Chanton in the Visp valley where so many rare varieties are lovingly kept from extinction.

People often ask what is the best time to drink certain wine. Here, the clue is in the name of the grape. Named from the Valasian German dialect it translates more or less to “Do not drink too early”. This refers to the high natural acidity and the need to age the wine for better results.

Chanton's Lafnetscha has a light but complex nose of pine forest, linden blossom, bergamot and ripe bananas. On the palate, it is quite full-bodied, dry with good concentration of fruit and a fresh lively acidity. It is a very refreshing wine which would go well with sauerkraut, pot-au-feu, hors d'oeuvres, shrimp, shellfish, cheese and onion cakes, Raclette, and Fondue.

Lafnetscha is the child of another indigenous Swiss white grape the Completer, or Blanchier, grown in the Bündner Herrschaft village of Malans in eastern Switzerland. In Valais only about 1.29 hectares of Lafnetscha is cultivated and Kuonen have 1 hectare of this (80% of world production) in a small vineyard near the town of Brig.

The name Lafnetscha, "Laff-nit-scha", comes from a local dialect phrase suggesting that this wine should not be drunk too young. Lafnetscha wines do indeed have some aging potential if they are correctly made.

These ancient variety white wines improve with age so we recommend buying the oldest vintage available, especially if the wine is for a tasting.

The other parent of Lafnetscha is Humagne from the south of Switzerland.

Grid List

Set Descending Direction

34 Item(s)

Grid List

Set Descending Direction

34 Item(s)

Riesling wines can be highly aromatic with apple, peach and pear at the forefront, mixed with delicate floral undertones and often honey and spice on the nose. On the palate, Rieslings echo the apple, pear and peach along with citrus and tropical nuances. Rieslings tend to pick up a noticeable "minerality" from their native soils.

Riesling, through DNA data, appears to be a cross between Gouais Blanc and an unknown relative of Savagnin. Riesling seems to have originated on the north bank of the Rhine in Germany where we find its first mention in a document dated 1435.

Up to the early 20th century Riesling and Sylvaner were often confused with each other. If you buy an ancient bottle you can't be sure which it might be. After the 60s, you're OK.

Contact Us