My per­fect day in the Lavaux vine­yards

Decanter - - LAKE GENEVA REGION -

For sheer per­fec­tion, aban­don the car and use a com­bi­na­tion of a short boat ride (check timings at www. cgn.ch), a bit of a walk and a bus to get back to base in the evening. (If you pre­fer to drive, start in Ri­vaz, drive to Epesses and fin­ish in Cully.) Start in Cully for the short boat trip to Ri­vaz – just time enough to lean back and gape at the Lavaux vine­yards stacked steeply up to the sky­line. On ar­rival in Ri­vaz, walk up (five min­utes) to Do­maine Chap­puis in the vil­lage where Christophe Chap­puis makes su­perla­tive Chas­se­las, as well as fine red blends. From here, take off on the well-marked walk­ing trail up to the vil­lage of Epesses, a 45-minute walk through some of the world’s most spec­tac­u­lar ter­raced vine­yards.

In Epesses, it’s time to set­tle down for a leisurely lunch at the aptly named Au­berge du Vi­gneron

( www.auberge­du­vi­gneron.ch/) a favourite haunt of wine-grow­ers with a se­lec­tion of sea­sonal dishes chalked up on the black­board – with luck you can sit on the ter­race high above the vine­yards look­ing down on the lake. At 3pm the wine bar-deli Les 11 Ter­res ( www.11ter­res.ch) opens – owned by 11 of the vil­lage’s wine-grow­ers (in­clud­ing top tal­ents Blaise Duboux and Luc Massy), it’s the place to taste a se­lec­tion of their wines and stock up on lo­cal cheese and cured meats.

Walk back down to Cully (about 15 min­utes) or catch the PostBus (check timings at www.cff.ch) and check in at the Au­berge du Raisin, where you can feast on tra­di­tional Swiss dishes, lake fish fresh from tthe lo­cal fish­er­man, Mon­sieur Mon­baron, or grilled meats from the ro­tis­serie and a wine list stud­ded with Lavaux’s best.

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