CAVES OUVERTES 2018
by Laura Snoek from Let’s Explore
The annual CAVES OUVERTES “Wineries Open Day” in Geneva is the perfect opportunity to chat to producers and sample their wines in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere. This event is now an un-missable date in the canton’s calendar, with the majority of the canton’s 90 wineries participating this year.
Geneva is Switzerland’s third largest wine-growing area and the area of Mandement is the most popular area to visit – which is the itinerary suggested by our guest blogger Laura Snoek.
A SUNNY, BUT NOT NECESSARILY ‘DRY’ DAY!
Beautiful weather is predicted, so prepare yourself for sun, beautiful views from the hilly countryside, as well as some tasty local wine and food. My suggested itinerary for this year’s Caves Ouvertes will get you working up a thirst, ready to explore the beautiful Mandement region.
TOP TIP: It’s a good idea to download the Genève Terroir app on your smartphone to get exact directions to the different wineries.
THE MANDEMENT REGION
Three towns make up the Mandement region: Satigny, Dardagny and Russin.
My favourite itinerary is in Satigny, a short 10-minute train ride from Geneva Cornavin Station (take the train to La Plaine). This tour will take you through the countryside walking uphill, so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes before you set off!
From the train station, walk in the direction of the Jura mountains (not the Salève side). The pavement will take you slightly uphill to the first winery, which you’ll find on your right, the ‘Domaine de la Devinière’ on the Route du Mandement. This winery is well known for making some great organic wines.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
The next winery, the Domaine de Champvigny lies a short uphill walk to the area called Bourdigny. A really lively place during the Caves Ouvertes with lots of tables set up outside and enough space for everyone! Definitely my first choice to stop off for a tasting and to soak up the atmosphere.
Another winery in Bourdigny is the Domaine des Alouettes. Take a left out of the Domaine de Champvigny and continue along the road, enjoying the beautiful houses you’ll find along the way, as well as a great view over Geneva. Pass by the little church of Satigny and you’ll arrive at a crossroad.
You can choose to go straight on to Peissy (on the Route de Peissy) or turn right to go to Choully. Both places are equally beautiful, and yes, you will need to walk uphill a bit more… but it will definitely be worth it.
If you turn right, in the direction of Choully, you will immediately find the winery Clos des Gondettes. Alternatively, continue uphill to the area of Choully where you will find several other wineries – the Domaine du Clé de Sol, Clos du Château, Domaine des Abeilles d’Or and La Cave de Geneve who will be present at Domaine Daniel Dugerdil.
In Choully you’ll find other stands, including food on offer – in the past there have been pastry stands and a great ice-cream stand selling caramel au beurre salée (salted butter caramel) ice-cream. Definitely one to look out for again this year!
From Choully, return down the same road you came up and continue all the way down to the main road of Satigny, then turn right and walk on towards the Domaine du Paradis, a fun place to try out their wines as there is live music, food trucks as well as ice-cream!
Several wineries are participating in Peissy, the Domaine des Bossons, Cave les Crêtets, Domaine des Charmes, Les Perrières, and Domaine des Trois Etoiles where a foodtruck will be present.
When you walk downhill from Peissy, remember to stop by the Domaine du Paradis on the main road that goes through Satigny.
THE ‘PASS CAVES OUVERTES’
New this year is the ‘Pass Caves Ouvertes’, which you’ll find on sale at the wineries for CHF10. Designed by Geneva based comic artist Pierre Wazem, the pass entitles you to a tasting glass specially designed for the day, with a little surprise hidden inside the glass.
There are two more wineries participating in the Caves Ouvertes which are not on my suggested walk, but that are very much worth a visit, the Chateau des Bois where you can enjoy an organised BBQ from noon and the Domaine des Vallières, which is close to the Domaine du Paradis.
There are public transport shuttle buses running throughout the day, but I suggest walking, as you get to see more of the beautiful countryside!
Geneva public transport company TPG is working with the Wineries Open Day to help people move around the Geneva countryside by providing free of charge shuttle buses that make it easy to get from one village to another. The CFF rail company is also cooperating with the wineries, adding trains to the Geneva-La Plaine line: up to 4 trains an hour at the end of the day. Note that taking a bicycle on one of the special trains is not recommended.
For more info about the special TPG buses for the day click here.
For more info about the special trains between Genève and La Plaine and an agreement with “Genèveroule” to rent a bike for the day click here.
Interactive map of participating wine cellars or PDF list of all cellars participating in 2018
WHEN: Saturday 26th May 2018 from 10am-5pm.
FURTHER INFO: Click here.
Our guest blogger Laura writes her own blog – Let’s Explore, where she shares her tips and ideas for travelling with children. Originally from Holland, she now lives in Switzerland with her French-Swiss husband and two boys. Passionate about cultures – whether they be far away or closer to home, she sees moving around as a ‘school of life’.