46° 33' 40.7" N


6° 32' 12.4" E




No items found.
Icon - Elements Webflow Library - BRIX Templates
about this region

The Vaud wine region, situated in the southwestern part of Switzerland, is renowned for its rich viticultural heritage and diverse wine production. Bordered by the Geneva, Valais, and Three Lakes wine regions, Vaud stands as Switzerland's second-largest wine-producing area, accounting for 26% of the country's total wine production. This region is notable for having a great vineyard surface dedicated to white grapes (59%), with Chasselas being the predominant variety. The other main grape varieties grown here are Pinot Noir, Gamay, Gamaret and Garanoir, all of them used to produce the red wines of the region.


The climate in the Vaud wine region is heavily influenced by its proximity to Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountainous terrain. This temperate climate is characterized by mild temperatures, with Lake Geneva acting as a thermal buffer that mitigates extreme temperatures and reduces the risk of frost in the vineyards. During the growing season, daytime temperatures typically reach around 30°C (86°F), while nighttime temperatures remain cooler, which helps maintain the acidity in the grapes. The region also benefits from high levels of sunlight, particularly on the south-facing slopes, which enhances grape ripening​​​​​​.


The soils in the Vaud wine region are highly diverse, shaped by geological forces such as glacial movements, river deposits, and the region's mountainous terrain. Key soil types include chalky limestone, which is rich in calcium carbonate and provides excellent drainage and sunlight reflection, ideal for grape ripening. Clay-limestone soils offer a balance of water retention and drainage, making them suitable for various grape varieties. Alluvial soils, formed from river deposits, are fertile and well-drained, promoting vigorous vine growth. In the terraced vineyards of Lavaux, marne (clay-sandstone) and schist soils are prevalent, offering poor fertility that enhances the concentration of flavors in the grapes and contributes to the distinctive minerality of the wines​​​​​​​​​​.

Subregions and Appellations

The Vaud wine region is divided into six subregions:

  • La Côte
  • Lavaux
  • Chablais
  • Neuchâtel
  • Côtes de l'Orbe
  • Vully

Additionally, Vaud boasts seven AOC and three AOC Grand Cru designations:

  • AOC Vaud
  • AOC Chablais
  • AOC Lavaux
  • AOC La Côte
  • AOC Côtes de l'Orbe
  • AOC Bonvillars
  • AOC Vully
  • AOC Calamin Grand Cru
  • AOC Dézaley Grand Cru
  • AOC Epesses Grand Cru​​​​​​​​​​

The Vaud wine region's favorable climate and diverse soils create an ideal environment for viticulture, contributing to the production of high-quality and distinctive wines. As the second-largest wine-producing area in Switzerland, Vaud continues to play a significant role in the country's wine industry, celebrated for its exceptional Chasselas wines and a variety of other grape varieties. This region's rich viticultural heritage, combined with its unique terroir, ensures that Vaud remains a prominent and respected name in the world of wine.


No items found.
vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares




growing degree days

Discover Terroir

Landscape of the Vaud Wine Region

The Vaud wine region is celebrated for its high-quality wines and stunning landscapes. Located along the northern shores of Lake Geneva, this region boasts diverse and picturesque scenery that enhances its reputation as a premier wine-producing area. The landscapes of Vaud are characterized by terraced vineyards, rolling hills, and breathtaking views of lakes and mountains.

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

One of the most iconic features of the Vaud wine region is the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces. Covering approximately 800 hectares, these terraces extend from Lausanne to Montreux and have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. The steep, south-facing slopes are meticulously terraced and provide an unparalleled scenic backdrop, with rows of vines descending towards Lake Geneva. These terraces benefit from direct sunlight, the reflective properties of the lake, and the heat stored in the stone walls, creating a Mediterranean microclimate ideal for grape cultivation. The combination of human ingenuity and natural beauty makes the Lavaux terraces a unique and treasured part of the region​​​​.

La Côte

La Côte is the largest sub-region within Vaud, stretching for 45 kilometers along Lake Geneva from Lausanne to Nyon. This area is known for its gently rolling hills and vineyards that slope down towards the lake, creating picturesque views. La Côte is dotted with charming villages and historic châteaux, adding to its appeal as a wine tourism destination. The landscape here is more undulating compared to the steep terraces of Lavaux, providing a different but equally captivating vineyard experience. The vineyards in La Côte are primarily planted on the foothills, offering stunning views and a serene environment for wine tasting and exploration​​​​.


The Chablais sub-region is located along the eastern shores of Lake Geneva and extends into the Rhône valley. This area features a semi-mountainous terrain with vineyards often planted on the foothills of the Alps. The varied topography offers dramatic views and contributes to the unique terroir of the wines produced here. The combination of lake and mountain scenery makes Chablais a visually striking part of the Vaud wine region. The vineyards benefit from the temperate climate provided by the lake, which helps to moderate temperatures and protect against extreme weather conditions​​.

Jura Mountains and Alps Vaudoises

The Vaud wine region is also enriched by its proximity to the Jura Mountains to the north and the Alps Vaudoises to the south. These mountainous backdrops not only enhance the visual appeal of the vineyards but also play a significant role in shaping the local climate and viticulture practices. The interplay of lakes, mountains, and meticulously maintained vineyards creates a scenic tapestry that is as enjoyable to explore as it is to taste the wines produced here. The diverse landscapes of Vaud provide a dynamic environment that supports a wide range of grape varieties and wine styles​​​​​​.

The Vaud wine region's landscape is a harmonious blend of natural beauty and human craftsmanship. The terraced vineyards of Lavaux, the rolling hills of La Côte, and the alpine vistas of Chablais all contribute to making this region a unique and cherished part of Switzerland's wine heritage. The diverse and picturesque scenery of the Vaud wine region enhances its reputation as a premier wine-producing area and offers a captivating experience for visitors and wine enthusiasts alike.

Climate of the Vaud Wine Region

The Vaud wine region is known for its favorable climate that supports high-quality viticulture. This region benefits from a combination of natural factors that create an optimal environment for grape growing, including its proximity to Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountainous terrain.

Mild Temperatures and Moderation by Lake Geneva

The climate in the Vaud wine region is characterized by mild temperatures, which are heavily influenced by Lake Geneva. The lake acts as a thermal buffer, mitigating extreme temperatures and reducing the risk of frost in the vineyards. This creates a stable and temperate environment that is beneficial for vine health and grape maturation. During the growing season, daytime temperatures typically reach around 30°C (86°F), while nighttime temperatures remain cooler, helping to maintain the acidity in the grapes​​​​.

Rainfall and High Luminosity

Rainfall in Vaud is relatively moderate, with most precipitation occurring in the spring and autumn. The summer months are generally drier, which helps prevent diseases that thrive in wet conditions and supports the healthy development of the vines. Another significant climatic feature of the region is its high luminosity. The south-facing slopes of the vineyards, combined with the reflection of sunlight from Lake Geneva, provide abundant light that enhances grape ripening. This high level of sunlight is particularly beneficial for the Chasselas grape, the most widely planted variety in Vaud, as it helps develop the grape's delicate aromas and flavors​​​​.

Diurnal Temperature Variation

The Vaud wine region experiences significant diurnal temperature variation, which is crucial for producing well-balanced wines. During the day, the temperatures can reach high levels, which are ideal for photosynthesis and sugar accumulation in the grapes. At night, the temperatures drop, which helps to preserve the natural acidity of the grapes. This variation between day and night temperatures contributes to the complexity and balance of the wines produced in the region​​​​.

The Vaud wine region's climate, characterized by mild temperatures, moderated by Lake Geneva, high luminosity, and well-distributed rainfall, creates an ideal environment for viticulture. These favorable climatic conditions enable the production of high-quality wines that are recognized both domestically and internationally. The combination of these natural factors ensures that the Vaud region remains a premier wine-producing area in Switzerland, known for its exceptional wines and picturesque vineyards​​​​​​​​​​.

The Vaud wine region is renowned for its diverse and high-quality wines, which are very influenced by the unique and varied soils found throughout the area.

Chalky-Limestone: Chalky limestone soils are prevalent in the Vaud wine region, particularly in the prestigious areas of Lavaux and La Côte. These soils are rich in calcium carbonate, which provides excellent drainage and helps reflect sunlight onto the vines. This reflection is crucial for grape ripening, especially in cooler climates. The high mineral content of chalky limestone also imparts a distinct minerality to the wines, enhancing the crispness and freshness of varieties like Chasselas, which is the flagship grape of the region​​​​.

Clay-Limestone: Clay-limestone soils offer a balance of water retention and drainage, making them ideal for a variety of grape types. The clay component retains moisture, ensuring that vines have a steady water supply during dry periods, while the limestone ensures proper drainage and prevents waterlogging. This soil type supports both red and white grape varieties, providing a stable growing environment that helps in the development of rich and complex flavors in the grapes. These soils are commonly found in several sub-regions of Vaud, contributing to the robustness of Pinot Noir and the finesse of Chasselas​​​​.

Alluvial Soils: Formed from river deposits, alluvial soils are typically fertile and well-drained, promoting vigorous vine growth. These soils consist of a mix of gravel, sand, and silt, which aid in root penetration and aeration. The fertility of alluvial soils supports the production of high-quality grapes with concentrated flavors. In Vaud, these soils are particularly beneficial for grape varieties such as Gamay and Pinot Noir, which thrive in well-drained conditions and benefit from the nutrient-rich environment provided by alluvial deposits​​​​.

Marne and Schist: The terraced vineyards of Lavaux are often characterized by marne and schist soils. Marne, a combination of clay and sandstone, and schist, a metamorphic rock, both offer poor fertility, which naturally limits vine vigor and enhances the concentration of flavors in the grapes. These soils also contribute to the distinctive minerality found in wines from this region. The terraces help prevent soil erosion and maximize sun exposure, creating a unique microclimate that is ideal for high-quality wine production. The challenging growing conditions foster resilience in the vines, leading to complex and well-structured wines​​​​.


Most Common Grapes of the Vaud Wine Region

The Vaud wine region is renowned for its diverse grape varieties and high-quality wines. The region's favorable climate, influenced by Lake Geneva, and its varied soil types create ideal conditions to cultivate grapes like Pinot Noir, Gamay, Garanoir and Chasselas.

Most Common Red Grapes

Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is one of the most important red grape varieties in the Vaud region. It thrives in well-drained, calcareous soils that are common in the area's terraced vineyards. This grape variety prefers cooler climates, which the Vaud region provides due to its high altitudes and proximity to Lake Geneva, helping to moderate temperatures. Pinot Noir vines are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and require careful site selection to avoid frost damage. The region's sunny days and cool nights are ideal for maintaining the acidity and balance required for high-quality Pinot Noir wines​​​​.

Gamay: Gamay is another significant red grape variety grown in Vaud. It performs well in the region's diverse soils, particularly in sandy and granitic types that provide excellent drainage. Gamay thrives in slightly warmer conditions than Pinot Noir, and the region's sunny climate with moderate rainfall supports its growth. The grape's early ripening nature means it benefits from the extended growing season provided by the temperate influence of Lake Geneva. Gamay vines are also relatively hardy and less susceptible to diseases, making them well-suited to the Vaud climate​​​​.

Gamaret: Gamaret is a relatively new grape variety that was developed in Switzerland. It is well-adapted to the Vaud region's climatic conditions, particularly its resistance to fungal diseases and its ability to thrive in various soil types, including clay and limestone. Gamaret benefits from the warm, sunny days and cooler nights that characterize the region, promoting balanced ripening. This grape variety requires well-drained soils to prevent waterlogging and is often planted on slopes to maximize sun exposure and drainage​​​​.

Garanoir: Garanoir, like Gamaret, is a Swiss-developed grape that is well-suited to the Vaud region. It thrives in the area's well-drained, calcareous soils and benefits from the temperate climate provided by Lake Geneva. Garanoir is known for its disease resistance, particularly to powdery mildew, which is crucial in the humid conditions sometimes experienced in the region. The grape requires adequate sun exposure to achieve full ripeness, and the Vaud region's sunny climate is ideal for this purpose. Additionally, Garanoir vines are robust and adaptable, making them a reliable choice for local viticulturists​​​​.

Most Common White Grapes

Chasselas: Chasselas is the most widely planted white grape variety in the Vaud region and is particularly synonymous with the area's wine production. This white wine grape thrives in the calcareous and well-drained soils of the terraced vineyards that overlook Lake Geneva. Chasselas benefits from the region's moderate climate, where the lake helps to regulate temperatures and reduce the risk of frost. This white wine grape is relatively early-ripening and requires careful water management to avoid excessive vigor. The cool nights and sunny days of Vaud are perfect for maintaining the balance and freshness characteristic of high-quality Chasselas wines​​​​.

The Vaud wine region is renowned for its diverse range of high-quality wines. The region's unique climate, influenced by the proximity of Lake Geneva, and its varied soils create ideal conditions for wine production.

Most Common Red Wines

Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir from the Vaud region is celebrated for its elegance and complexity. The wine typically exhibits a bouquet of red fruits such as cherry, raspberry, and strawberry, often accompanied by floral notes of violet. On the palate, it is smooth and silky, with flavors of red currant, plum, and subtle earthy undertones. The cool nights and sunny days of Vaud help to maintain the grape's natural acidity, resulting in a well-balanced wine with a refined, long-lasting finish​​​​.

Gamay: Gamay wines from Vaud are known for their vibrant and fruity character. They offer expressive aromas of red and black berries, including strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry, complemented by hints of pepper and spices. On the palate, these wines are typically light to medium-bodied, with a juicy, approachable texture and a refreshing acidity. The finish is bright and slightly peppery, making Gamay a versatile wine for various pairings​​​​.

Gamaret: Gamaret wines are distinctive and robust, showcasing a deep color and intense aromatic profile. They feature rich aromas of black fruits such as blackberry and blackcurrant, with underlying notes of spice, licorice, and sometimes a hint of smokiness. On the palate, Gamaret is full-bodied and well-structured, with firm tannins and a balanced acidity. The wine often exhibits a long, complex finish, making it suitable for aging​​​​.

Garanoir: Garanoir wines are appreciated for their smooth and supple character. They offer aromas of ripe red fruits like cherry and raspberry, along with hints of spice and floral notes. On the palate, Garanoir is medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins and a harmonious balance of fruit and acidity. The wine's pleasant finish and approachable style make it a popular choice among red wine enthusiasts​​​​.

Most Common White Wines

Chasselas: Chasselas is the flagship white wine grape variety of the Vaud region, producing wines that are light, fresh, and aromatic. These wines typically exhibit delicate aromas of white flowers, green apple, and citrus, with occasional hints of honey and nuts. On the palate, this white wine is refreshing and smooth, featuring flavors of pear, melon, and a touch of minerality that reflects the region's calcareous soils. This white wine is usually dry, with a soft texture and a clean, crisp finish, making it an excellent companion for a variety of dishes​​​​.


370-650 m


97 mm


The most common soils within the region are chalky-limestone soils, clay-limestone soils, alluvial soils and marne and schist soils.

top varietal

Pinot Noir, Gamay, Gamaret, Garanoir, Chasselas

History of wine

The Vaud wine region, located in southwestern Switzerland along the northern shores of Lake Geneva, has a rich and storied history of viticulture. This region is known for its diverse and high-quality wines, particularly those made from the Chasselas grape. The development of viticulture in Vaud has been shaped by various cultural and historical influences over the centuries.

Ancient and Medieval Periods

Viticulture in the Vaud region dates back to the Roman era, when the first vineyards were planted around Lake Geneva. However, it was during the Middle Ages that viticulture began to flourish significantly. The Burgundian Cistercian monks played a pivotal role in this development, introducing terracing techniques and expanding vineyard areas. These monks recognized the potential of the steep slopes by the lake, and their efforts laid the foundation for the renowned terraced vineyards seen in Vaud today, particularly in the Lavaux area​​​​.

Renaissance to Modern Periods

Following the conquest of Vaud by the Bernese in the 16th century, the region's ecclesiastical estates were transferred to new landlords. This period saw the establishment of many châteaux and historic estates that continue to be involved in viticulture. The 18th century marked the beginning of the Fête des Vignerons in Vevey, a significant event celebrating the region's wine culture. This festival, held once every generation, underscores the deep-rooted tradition of winemaking in Vaud​​​​.

Contemporary Developments

In 1995, the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system was introduced in Vaud, further formalizing and protecting the quality and origin of its wines. The terraced vineyards of Dézaley were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, highlighting the cultural and historical importance of this unique landscape. Today, Vaud's viticulture continues to thrive, benefiting from modern techniques and sustainable practices while maintaining its traditional methods​​​​.


No items found.