Memoire des Vins Suisses group enlarged

Jean-RenÈ Germanier

Gilles Besse and Jean-René Germanier of the Jean-René Germanier winery in Vétroz, which rejoins the MDVS in 2013. Besse is also president of Swiss Wine Promotion (Photo: Siffert/

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Memoire des Vins Suisses (MDVS) group of elite wine producers has just added 10 new members, a significant change, with nine of them not producers, but individuals who actively promote Swiss wines through their work.

The Jean René Germanier winery in Vétroz, which left the group in 2008, has returned, bringing with it Amigne Balavaud Grand Cru as its contribution to the MDVS wine bank.

The group was created in 2002, with just a handful of top Swiss wineries, and it initially focused on creating a bank of wines that they believed would age well. Each winery contributes 60 bottles a year to the “Trésor des vins suisses” bank, to test which grape varieties and methods offer Swiss producers the most promising options for developing older vintage wines.

The newly added Amigne from Vétroz is the only wine of this grape variety, widely viewed as one of Switzerland’s finest native grapes, with excellent aging potential.

The new members bring the group to 64, of which 50 are wineries – after adding cellars each year from Switzerland’s six wine regions, the group opted in 2012 to limit iindefinitely the number of wineries to 50. This year the group’s newcomers are individuals who have added to the renown of Swiss wines: Jérome Aké Béda, sommelier; Hans Bättig agricultural engineer at Zurich’s ETH federal polytechnic; Pierre Emmanuel Buss, journalist for Le Temps; France Massy, journalist for Le Nouvelliest in Sion; Mark Segmüller, sommelier and restaurant owner; Pierre Thomas, journalist; Rudolf Trefzer, food and wine writer; José Vouillamoz, grape variety researcher, geneticist and author; Eva Zwahlen, wine writer in German.