Wine

The system “rock – weathering – soil – vine – wine” is complex: climate and weather influence the quality of a wine – for the character however, the underlying rock, from which the vine obtains nutrients and water, also plays an important role.

vines rooted almost directly to the hard bedrock
Should unconsolidated rocks be absent and the humus layer thin, the vines are bound very directly to the hard bedrock.
© SGTK

Summary

The vineyards of Switzerland can be geologically grouped into “Jura”, “Swiss Plateau” or “Alpine” wines. The simplified rock type map displays the bedrock of the viticulture regions.

In the Jura Mountains between Neuchâtel and Schaffhausen, the vineyards are widespread on marls and on slope debris of Jurassic limestone, which are very rich in nutrients thanks to a high clay content.

In the Swiss Plateau region, the wine grows on molasse rocks and moraines – formations that produce suitably balanced mixed soils for wine growing. The molasse subsurface consists of alternating layers of sandstones and marls. Conglomerates (Nagelfluh) occur in Lavaux and in the St. Gallen Rhein Valley. Moraine covers the molasse in many places, particularly in the regions of La Côte, Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Zürich and the Thur valley.

In the Alpine valleys, vineyards are located mostly on alluvial cones, debris slopes and rockslide masses. Debris from Alpine limestones dominates in the northern mountain chains. In the central valley zones, particularly in canton Valais and the Alpine Rhine valley, there are flysch sequences and Bündner schist. Sandy calcareous soils originate from these interbedded sandstones, marls and calc-schists.

Gneisses and mica schists form the base of the vineyards in the Alpine valleys of canton Ticino. Weathered layers and moraine covering, of varying thickness, commonly lie on top of this bedrock. In the far south, the vineyards of Mendrisiotto thrive on volcanic rocks, Kieselkalk lime- and marlstones, conglomerates and moraines.

Who is who

Wine: Who is who

Swiss Geotechnical Commission (SGTK) 
ETH Zürich
NO F 35
Sonneggstrasse 5
CH-8092 Zürich

Tel. + 41 44 632 37 28
Fax + 41 44 632 12 70
E-Mail
Webseite (German)


Project “Stein und Wein“

For further information on the resulting book “Stein und Wein“ go to

Data

Wine: Data

The vineyards of Switzerland can be geologically grouped into “Jura”, “Swiss Plateau” or “Alpine” wines. The simplified rock type map displays the bedrock of the viticulture regions and was produced within the framework of the "Stein und Wein" project. This map displays the rock types that are of importance for viticulture. The Swiss wine-producing regions (maroon) have been displayed on top of that.

The Swiss wine-producing regions (maroon) displayed on a map of the rock types that are of importance for viticulture.


Geology in everyday life

Swiss Geotechnical Comission (SGTK) c/o ETH Zurich
NO F35
Sonneggstrasse 5
CH-8092 Zurich
Tel.
+41 44 632 37 28

E-Mail


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