Wine & Watches

This year’s Swiss wine harvest is looking extremely promising as Mother Nature has been delivering both sun and rain in just the right doses. But it isn’t only the winegrowers who are quietly excited about this year’s vintage; a number of watchmakers are, too. Lovers of haute horlogerie often have an affection for fine wines and watch brand CEOs are no exception. We invited six of them to share their favorite Swiss wines with us. In the name of journalism, we tasted all of them and we can confirm that they are just as delicious as the timepieces they kindly allowed us to photograph among the vineyards of La Côte and the UNESCO-listed region of Lavaux.

“I would definitely recommend the Gantenbein, a pinot noir from the Canton des Grisons. In addition to the fact that it is one of the best pinot noir wines in Switzerland; I like its rarity. Its production is fixed and limited. Quality, craftsmanship and exclusivity are key to me.”

− François Bennahmias, CEO Audemars Piguet

“I very much appreciate the Calcaire Absolu, a pinot noir from the Domaine d’Histoire d’Enfer A.O.C. Valais. This Pinot Noir comes from a small 2,500 square meter vineyard, planted in 1982 in Salquenen in the Valais Region. It is grown observing biodynamic practice and shows a high complexity with notes of cherry and raspberry.”

− Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President Chopard

“I have chosen the Dézaley-Marsens Grand Cru de la Tour from the Frères Dubois because Chasselas is really a typical wine from Switzerland, and the region of Lavaux has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. Chasselas wine is unique, distinctive and different from wines anywhere else in the world.”

– Marc A. Hayek, CEO Breguet

“Swiss wines deserve to be better known. They have greatly improved over the last few years. An excellent example is the La Cayas, a syrah by Jean René Germanier. This is my favorite Swiss wine from Valais that obtained the mark 94+ on the Parker rating system and is also the Swiss wine served to first class passengers on our national airline Swiss. Several innovations in the vinification process have given exceptional results. It is similar to what Zenith is doing in watchmaking in terms of both innovation and staying true to tradition and heritage.”

− Julien Tornare, CEO Zenith

“I have a particular fondness for the white pinot noir, Les Rêveries Ile Saint-Pierre from Rebgut der Stadt Bern, because it comes from neighboring vineyards. I appreciate its crispness, especially as an aperitif wine.”

– Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO Omega

“The Château d’Auvernier 2015 is an extraordinary pinot noir that is created from the best vines in the small village of Auvernier in Neuchâtel using traditional winemaking techniques. The village dates back to Roman times when the town was called Averniacum.”

− Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO Bulgari

From left to right:

  1. Julien Tornare, CEO Zenith, chose La Cayas, a syrah by Jean René Germanier.
  2. Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO Omega, chose Les Rêveries Ile Saint-Pierre from Rebgut des Stadt Bern.
  3. François Bennahmias, CEO Audemars Piguet, chose a Gantenbein from the Canton des Grisons.
  4. Marc A. Hayek, CEO Breguet, chose the Dézaley-Marsens Grand Cru de la Tour from the Frères Dubois.
  5. Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO Bulgari, chose the Château d’Auvernier 2015.
  6. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President Chopard, chose the Calcaire Absolu, a pinot noir from the Domaine d’Histoire d’Enfer A.O.C. Valais.
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