3071 wines – the third highest number ever – were submitted for the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse (GPVS) 2020 edition that was so adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. In a competition characterised by very high quality levels, Cave St-Pierre in Chamoson (VS) took away the coveted title of ‘2020 winery of the year’. Nadia and Diego Mathier in Salgesch, record winners at the GPVS competition over the years, have also once again made waves with wins in three of the 13 categories.
A turbulent, even dramatic year enjoyed a positive highlight with the awards ceremony for the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse 2020. The coronavirus crisis has had a major adverse impact the Swiss wine industry. Against this backdrop, the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse has become even more important, as it is the biggest platform for ensuring that local wines have a clear reputation for quality in a highly competitive market. Winemakers clearly agree, as evidenced by the 3071 wines (from 513 producers) submitted for this year’s competition, more than the average. The title of ‘2020 winery of the year’ was awarded to Cave St-Pierre in Chamoson in Valais. Only wineries that had submitted at least five wines across three categories were eligible for this prize. The title is awarded to the winery offering the best ratio of submitted to award-winning wines (gold and silver), the most wines nominated, and the most podium-placed wines (first, second or third place).
Once again this year, Switzerland’s biggest wine competition was held in two stages. Following a delay of nearly two months as a result of Covid-19, in mid-August 2020 a tasting was held in Sierre with around 160 wine experts tasting the 3071 wines over the course of a week, awarding not only a total of 947 gold and silver medals, but also selecting the six top wines to go through to the final round in each of the 13 categories. These 78 final wines were then assessed again by an international judging panel at the beginning of September 2020. This involved selecting the top three wines in each category, as well as the winners of the various special prizes, including ‘Vinissimo Blanc’ (Cave Gilbert Devayes in Leytron for their Petite Arvine 2019), ‘Vinissimo Rouge’ (Adrian & Diegon Mathier Nouveau Salquenen in Salgesch for their Syrah Diego Mathier 2017), the ‘Prix Bio’ (Sélection Comby in Chamoson for their Johannisberg de Chamoson 2018) and the ‘Prix Découverte Elisabeth Pasquier’ for the best newcomer to the competition (Vouilloz Vins SA in Varen).
The total of 39 podium places at this year’s GPVS went to nine cantons across all parts of the country. Valais, the largest winemaking canton in Switzerland, managed to secure an impressive 23 podium places, with Vaud making it to the podium six times. Winemakers from the cantons of Neuenburg, Zurich and Baselland made it onto the podium steps twice each.
The following special prizes were handed out at the awards ceremony:
Swiss Winery of the Year 2020: Cave St-Pierre, Chamoson (VS)
Prix VINISSIMO « Coup de cœur » White: Petite Arvine 2019, AOC Valais, Cave Gilbert Devayes – 1912 Leytron (VS)
Prix VINISSIMO « Coup de cœur » Red: Syrah Diego Mathier 2017, AOC Valais, Adrian & Diego Mathier Nouveau Salquenen–3970 Salgesch (VS)
Prix Bio: Johannisberg de Chamoson 2018, AOC Valais Sélection Comby – 1955 Chamoson (VS)
Prix Découverte Elisabeth Pasquier: Pinot Noir Barrique 2018, AOC Valais Weine Vouilloz Vins SA – 3953 Varen (VS)
The ranking of the 14th Grand Prix du Vin Suisse will be published on the following website www.vinea.ch
Emeline Zufferey, Technical Director Association VINEA, + 41 27 456 31 44 firstname.lastname@example.org