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Pinot Noir

http://www.marathonsprachen.comMaya: You know, can I ask you a personal question, Miles? 

Miles Raymond: Sure.  

Maya: Why are you so in to Pinot? 

Miles Raymond: [laughs softly] 

Maya: I mean, it's like a thing with you. 

Miles Raymond: [continues laughing softly] Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet. 


This quote from the film Sideways perfectly describes the subtleties of Pinot Noir. The musing of its ancient quality is also not to be forgotten. Though the grape has found its most prestigious expression in Burgundy, France, the grape is actually of Swiss decent.


Originally cultivated in the valleys of Graubünden by the Romans the grape made its way west. In that respect it truly is ancient. One canton in Switzerland has even made a name for itself as Pinot Noir Country (Blauburgunderland) and that canton is Schaffhausen, the small canton nicely tucked in between the Rhine river and Germany. The canton has 500 hectares of vines of which three quarters are Pinot Noir. 500 winemakers produce some of Switzerland’s best Pinot Noir each year. 


Growing grapes and making wine started in Schaffhausen with the Romans, as it did in Graubünden. This continued into the middle ages when it was primarily done by the monks in the monasteries, who enjoyed the odd drop on more occasions that just during the liturgy. Schaffhausen quickly became the most important wine producing area in the Swiss Confederation and remained so until the cantons in present day French-speaking western Switzerland joined the confederation. 


In the 16th century in fact wine production had reached such a profitable and well regarded prospect that authorities had vineyards pulled out for fear that not enough of the necessary grains and foodstuffs were being planted.


If you’re looking for your own little Swiss style Sideways tour, join us on August 14th and discover Stein am Rhein and it’s wine.



  • 10.00 depart Zurich HB
  • 11.30 arrive in Stein am Rhein, visit the vineyard with a sandwich lunch, local sausage and cheese as well as a wine tasting
  • 12.30 walking tour of the historical city of Stein am Rhein. Guided in English and German
  • 14.30 walk up to the castle. Visit the fortification and have a refreshments
  • 16.30 return to Trutmann home for dinner
    • 1 hour Apéro for guests on the terrace
    • 2 course dinner with wine of choice
    • Dessert
  • 20.30 depart Stein am Rhein
  • 21.30 arrive at Zurich HB


Please Take Note:

  • Please make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes
  • Bring umbrellas in case of rain
  • Refreshments at the castle are not included
  • Wine from Weinbau Trutmann will be available for purchased


Register at:

The cost of the event per person is 200CHF

Written by: Christian Langenegger, co-founder of Marathon Sprachen.


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