Adrian Klötzli: a successful winemaker emerges from a small creek

Adrian Klötzli, Twann, Bielersee, Switzerland

By Laurent Probst | July 16, 2011 


Adrian Klötzli hosted us with warmth and a little shyness in his small estate near the Twannbach (Twann creek). He was almost surprised at the visit of two French speaking guests who did not hide they cam out of curiosity for his recent listing as a « rookie » in the Top 100 Gault & Millau best Swiss wineries (title he shares with an estate in Ticino).

This young man is a typical representative of the Swiss plurality. Formed both at Changins and Wädenswil schools for viticulture, he trained among professionals from Zürich (including Urs Pircher) and the Graubünden, he worked in the canton of Vaud (Domaine Conne) and Vully (with Jean-Daniel Chervet) before settling in his hometown of Twann, where he now manages two and a half hectares of vines.
First he took us on a tour of his family estate established in an former watermill in the centre of the village. Then we visited his facility where medium-sized tanks hide smaller ones. While the design of the works seems almost improbable, the winemaking equipment is state of the art with essential equipment such as floating hats and thermoregulation.

We followed our host to the back of the house where a small terrace dominates a beautiful creek and its green vegetation, the place is almost idyllic unfortunately the water never reaches more than 12 ° C. After the creek we move around the house to reach a small tasting cellar dug partly under the rocks and partly under the house.

As we look at the bottles perfectly lined up on a shelf we see the first signs of a new wind blowing on he estate. Our host has recently decided to evolve the design of its wine labels and the visual result is definitely a success. His website also moved to a more streamlined and contemporary look. The winemaker chose to highlight his name, rather than the various vineyards where he grows his grapes (although they still appear but smaller). With a primarily private client base, it was certainly the right thing to do. You have to be seen and recognized.

During the rest of our visit we will taste most of his wines. One of the two Chasselas, the Ligerz, and the grape represents 30% of the estate’s production. A very fine wine, with a wonderful smoothness, fruity (liquorice and anise), a mineral character highlighted by a salty note in the finale. A beautiful wine.

The Riesling-Sylvaner is very fruity (grapefruit) and dense on the palate, fine, balanced with a long finish. The Pinot Gris is a powerful wine, which needs a little more time to express itself. Sauvignon Blanc was aged in barrels. 

Among red wines, we enjoyed a pinot noir aged in barrels, but our favorite was the “Sofia” 2012, a very sincere and expressive wine with depth and potential. The aging of red wine is in barrels.
We finished the tasting with a wine “persillé”, the “Dream” 2012, very pleasant, even seductive.

There is no doubt; Adrian Klötzli deserves to be known as great Swiss wine maker.